Fighting cancer and getting well is in itself a battle won! As you start a new phase of your life, understand the risks and side effects of the treatment that you had taken for the treatment. This will help you cope with any expected or unexpected side effects that you may observe at a later date. These side effects could be either physical side effects or social and emotional side effects.
Let us look at the most common side effects of cancer treatment so that you are well aware and can cope with them when they strike.
Cancer survivors most commonly complain about fatigue. This is generally due to the treatment medication and procedures used. They make you feel tired and no matter how much you sleep, you feel the fatigue. If you experience excessive fatigue make sure that you contact your doctor. You will be recommended some exercise and relaxation skills.
For all the cancer patients, there is always a possibility of the cancer re-occurring. There is also a possibility of patients developing secondary cancers. These can arise from the treatment of the original cancer.
Chemotherapy has a negative impact on teeth enamel. This introduces long term dental problems. High dose of radiation can change tooth development and develop gum diseases. Tooth decay and tooth loss are other common risks. Some serious side effects also include soreness or ulcers in the mouth.
Some of the high intensity drugs used in cancer treatments are known to cause the blood sugar levels to drop. It is however unclear whether this actually leads to diabetes. They are however at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Another important risk factor is the development of thyroid related ailments. The symptoms to look for include weight gain for hypothyroidism and constipation, dry skin and sensitivity to cold.
Learning and Memory
Learning and memory problems could be one of the after effects of cancer. The original cancer itself affects learning and memory skills.
Certain types of cancer treatments could damage the organs surrounding it. While surgically removing the cancer or by other therapies, there is a possibility of organ damage. This type of organ damage could have long term effects on the lives of patients post cancer treatments. For example, some cancer treatments are harmful for the heart. They cause heart failures. Symptoms to look out for are breathlessness, coughing and chest discomfort. Some drugs are also known to damage the lungs. Some chemotherapy drugs are known to damage the liver. Yet some others are known to damage the kidneys. If you observe any of these symptoms, make sure that you contact your doctor so that they can suggest remedies before the situation worsens.
After cancer treatment, pain is inevitable. So make sure that you understand all the side effects and how to handle them from your doctor. You will have a long list of do’s and don’ts after the treatment. Follow them religiously for a better quality of life later.