Side effect management is important during chemotherapy, a cancer treatment that works by destroying cells that are dividing at a more rapid rate than usual. Because chemotherapy medications cannot distinguish between cancerous cells and healthy ones, normal cells may be destroyed during treatment. Healthy cells will eventually regenerate, but in the meantime, patients may experience side effects such as nausea and hair loss.
To help patients maintain their quality of life during chemotherapy, Moffitt Cancer Center emphasizes side effect management as part of our comprehensive approach to cancer care. Depending on the specific side effects a patient is facing, the patient’s treatment team may recommend options such as:
- Anti-nausea medications
- Laxatives or stool-binding medications
- Platelet transfusions or red blood cell transfusions
- Numbing gels for mouth sores
Moffitt’s team can also provide side effect management advice, such as dietary suggestions and activity modifications, as well as integrate various healing and wellness services into patients’ recovery plans. For instance, some patients may find that yoga helps relieve chemotherapy-related pain and nausea, while other patients find that meditation and acupuncture help with cancer-induced fatigue. Nutrition services counseling, which can help patients limit digestive distress and other side effects, is also available.