Reasons for Procedure
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Appetite loss
- Hair loss
- Low red blood cell count — anemia
- Weakened immune system and increased infections
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and/or feet, or weakness due to nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Damage to the heart muscle
- Interruption of the menstrual period
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Allergy medications, such as an anti-histamine
- Anti-nausea medications
Description of the Procedure
- Injection into a muscle or vein (IV)
- Catheter tube into the bladder, abdomen, chest cavity, brain, spinal cord, or liver
- Application to the skin
|Chemotherapy Through Cardiovascular System|
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Medications to take at home, such as anti-nausea medication
- Injections of an immune-system or blood cell boosting drug
- Other drugs, including steroids, allergy medications, sedatives, and antibiotics
- Get a lot of sleep.
- Try to do some physical activity each day. Exercise can help to reduce fatigue.
- Try to eat a healthy diet.
- Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration .
- Try to avoid people with diseases that can be spread easily, including children. Chemotherapy will likely weaken your immune system. Viral illnesses, such as the cold or flu , can have serious effects.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Sores in your mouth, throat, or lips
- White patches in your mouth
- Difficulty/pain with swallowing
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Vomiting that prevents you from holding down fluids
- Blood in your vomit
- Easy bruising
- Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, new vaginal bleeding
- Blood in your urine or stool
- Burning or frequency of urination
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or cough
- Calf pain, swelling, or redness in the legs or feet
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
- New pain or pain that you cannot control with the medication you were given
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your extremities
- Joint pain, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or a pimple at the site of your IV
- Headache, stiff neck
- Hearing or vision changes
- Ringing in your ears
- Exposure to someone with an infectious illness, including chickenpox
- Weight gain or loss of 10 pounds or more
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Cancer Care Ontario http://www.cancercare.on.ca
Chemotherapy and you. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemotherapy-and-you. Accessed September 11, 2014.
Understanding chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemo-side-effects/understandingchemo. Updated August 2008. Accessed September 11, 2014.
10/26/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Adamsen L, Quist M, Andersen C, et al. Effect of a multimodal high intensity exercise intervention in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b3410.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/11/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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