Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells as well as healthy white blood cells. Since white blood cells are one of the body’s main defenses against infection, this means you have a higher risk of getting an infection while your white blood cell count is low.
What is the most life-threatening adverse effect of chemotherapy?
Hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions are among the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Reactions range from mild infusion reactions such as itching and hypertension to severe and potentially life-threatening.
What is the most common complication of chemotherapy that patients experience?
The most common chemotherapy-induced side effects are nausea and vomiting, fatigue, decreased appetite, changes in taste, hair loss, dry mouth, and constipation. Management of side effects can be improved the efficacy of tumor therapy.
What is most affected by chemotherapy?
The normal cells most likely to be damaged by chemo are: Blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. Hair follicles. Cells in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system.
What is toxic chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy toxicity is the unwanted toxic side effects of chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy is treatment with an anticancer drug which is administered to kill cancer cells. The difficulty is that the chemotherapy can also also damage healthy cells which results in side effects.
What is the most toxic chemotherapy drug?
Doxorubicin, an old chemotherapy drug that carries this unusual moniker because of its distinctive hue and fearsome toxicity, remains a key treatment for many cancer patients.
Can chemotherapy be fatal?
A British inquiry into the use of chemotherapy to treat seriously ill cancer patients has found the treatment caused or hastened death in 27% of cases.
What are the late effects of chemotherapy?
Late effects of chemotherapy include:
- Difficulty with focused thinking (sometimes called chemo brain).
- Early menopause.
- Heart problems.
- Reduced lung capacity.
- Kidney and urinary problems.
- Nerve problems such as numbness and tingling.
- Bone and joint problems.
Which is worse on the body chemo or radiation?
Since radiation therapy is focused on one area of your body, you may experience fewer side effects than with chemotherapy. However, it may still affect healthy cells in your body.
What is the life expectancy after chemotherapy?
During the 3 decades, the proportion of survivors treated with chemotherapy alone increased (from 18% in 1970-1979 to 54% in 1990-1999), and the life expectancy gap in this chemotherapy-alone group decreased from 11.0 years (95% UI, 9.0-13.1 years) to 6.0 years (95% UI, 4.5-7.6 years).
What reduces the side effects of chemotherapy?
Eating a light meal before your chemotherapy treatment may prevent some of the nausea and vomiting that can occur. After your treatment, it may help if you take a nap or just rest quietly. If the smell of food causes nausea, avoid strong smelling foods such as tuna, cabbage, or onions.
What happens if you choose not to have chemotherapy?
If you decide to stop chemotherapy, be sure you’re still getting relief from symptoms such as pain, constipation, and nausea. This is called palliative care, and it’s meant to improve your quality of life. Medications and other treatments, such as radiation, are part of palliative care.