Side effects of chemotherapy are varied and also depend on the drug is received, the dose employed and tolerance of the receiving person, his own health in general. In fact, side effects may vary among patients receiving the same treatment.
Among the most common are:
- Gastrointestinal Toxicity: Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and mucositis (involvement of the mouth)
- Skin toxicity: hair loss and brittle nails
- Bone marrow toxicity: anemia, leucopenia (facilitates infections drop defenses) and thrombocytopenia (easy bleeding due to lack of platelets)
- Other: asthenia, neurological toxicity and cardiac toxicity
Most drugs used against cancer act on the process of cell division. Tumor cells, which reproduce at high speed, are affected and destroyed. But acting is not entirely selective, other normal cells (healthy) are also affected and its destruction is the cause of much of the side effects.
Side effects of chemotherapy in children and adults
Side effects are very similar, although the impact is somewhat different. In general, children tolerate chemotherapy better than adults and recover better from their side effects.
By contrast, long - term side effects are at increased risk of impaired fertility, delays in cognitive development or growth problems.
Treating side effects of chemotherapy
Most of the side effects of chemotherapy go away with time. Some of them may be helped significantly with proper treatment, so it is advisable to consult a specialist, a doctor at home for example. who can help in this regard. It is also important to follow a series of tips that can facilitate tolerance of toxicity.
Are there any side effects of chemotherapy long term?
Side effects of long - term chemotherapy are a minority; however, there are some that persist for weeks, months or years. In that case an individualized assessment of the potential impact of long - term toxicity and symptomatic treatment is necessary.
Edited by Noelia García Pino