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Chemotherapy - How To Manage It?

Dr. Dinesh Singh 90% (71 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Radio Therapy
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Chemotherapy - How To Manage It?

Chemotherapy can be frightening, and the very thought of going through it can be an ordeal for most people. Many resources and tips can be used to minimize the discomfort and lessen the burden. Let us have a look at a few of these.

  1. Support network: Chemotherapy can be physically daunting and more than the treatment a person needs all the emotional and moral support he/she can get. Have friends and family always by your side. You can have peace of mind when there is a person you can trust and bank upon in taking care of you.
  2. Discuss the medication with your oncologist: Before understanding the treatments have a detailed discussion about the current medication you are undergoing, as this may hamper the chemotherapy treatment. The dosage has to be adjusted accordingly.
  3. Keep the body hydrated: Your body gets dehydrated on the day of the treatment. Please ensure that the body is properly hydrated and plenty of fluids are there in the body.
  4. Be comfortable: Taking chemotherapy can have an effect on your morale. Hence make sure that you are keeping yourself occupied with books and games or your favorite music to while away the time.
  5. Wear comfortable clothes: This makes all the difference in the treatment as having loose fitting clothes can relive pressures in your mind. Always choose clothes that you are comfortable in.
  6. Ask questions: Chemotherapy treatments can and will cause side effects. Hence ask and keep yourself updated as much as possible. More importantly after the treatment ask questions on the possible recuperation period and how best to go about it.
  7. Symptoms of nausea and vomiting: It is natural that most of the patients feel light headed or have a vomiting sensation when undergoing the treatment. Always make sure that the doctor or the nurse knows about it. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Some medications to prevent nausea can be had along with the chemotherapy drugs.
  8. Avoiding infection: Chemotherapy affects the immune system of the body. Hence it can get easily susceptible to diseases. Have a general cleanliness around your surroundings. Avoid crowds if possible and keep your hands always clean and wear clean, comfortable clothes that don't stick to the body.
  9. Right diet: Chemotherapy makes you prone to weight loss. Hence having the desired nutritional levels is mandatory. Consult a dietician and eat healthy. It is not advisable to gain weight either during or after chemotherapy.
  10. Adequate Rest: Our body needs all the rest that it can get when undergoing chemotherapy. Make sure that the body gets proper sleep and is relaxed. You can try for meditation and simple yoga exercises that can help in rejuvenating the body.
  11. Skin Care: Prolonged treatment can affect the moisture content in the skin. Have a good skin cream and lotions handy to take care of it. In some cases, chemotherapy causes hair fall. Make sure that a proper wig or a treatment plan is made beforehand to take care of the issues.

Chemotherapy treatment can be emotionally daunting. Having a few precautions like the ones stated above can make all the difference in how successful we are in coping with it.

1886 people found this helpful

Hello sir good morning. I'm brijesh, I want to know. How to fight against radiation and chemotherapy? Coz I have oral CANCER and already done SURGERY. Thank you sir.

Dr. Premitha R 88% (61 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In Medical Radio Therapy, DNB
Oncologist, Bangalore
Hi, it's not fight against radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it's go along with them. You need to fight against the cancer. During the above said treatments you will be regularly monitored by your Doctors for the toxicities and managed accordingly. Additionally you should be having a positive thoughts and hopes that you will successfully fight against the cancer and follow the instructions given to you by your doctors.
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My father in law is suffering from lung cancer and it's spread in brain. Doctors have done radiation therapy. Now they are about to do chemotherapy or targeted therapy. But I have heard that radiotherapy and chemotherapy leads to damaging of healthy cells too which leads to death. Please help me out.

Dr. Premitha R 88% (61 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In Medical Radio Therapy, DNB
Oncologist, Bangalore
Yes it's true that radiotherapy and chemotherapy do damage normal cells, but normal cells have ability to repair themselves faster, hence do not die. Higher techniques like IMRT, RAPIDARC TOMOTHERAPY, VMAT, which are available in many centres, decrease the radiation to the normal cells and plenty of supportive medicines help you to overcome the toxicities of chemotherapy.
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Best Cancer Hospitals in Delhi

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Singh 88% (192 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Lakhimpur Kheri
Best Cancer Hospitals in Delhi

Cancer is amongst the most fatal diseases and the second most common cause of death in India after cardiac problems. It is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and can happen in any part of the body. The five most common types of cancer in Indian population are breast, cervical, oral cavity, lung and colorectal.  As per WHO, India is one of those countries which has the highest number of cancer patients. Here are some facts related to cancer in India:

  • Estimated number of people living with the disease: around 2.5 million
  • Every year, new cancer patients registered: Over 7 lakh
  • Cancer-related deaths: 5,56,400

What causes cancer?

There can be a lot of reasons that cells mutate in the body. Some of the reasons that can lead to it are:

  • Genetics or family history
  • Use of tobacco or smoking
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Increased consumption of unhealthy or junk foods
  • Environmental risks

Treatment of cancer

There are a number of treatments that are available to treat cancer. The kind of treatment that can be opted, depends upon the type and stage of cancer. Few of the common methods are- surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and biological therapy. The cost associated with cancer treatment is usually very high, and having a health insurance in such cases is required.

Some of the Cancer treatment hospitals in Delhi are listed below.

1. HCG SMH Curie Cancer Centre, Karkardooma, Delhi

Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), is one of India’s largest chain of hospitals, with more than 20 comprehensive cancer centers across India. HCG has advanced cancer care facilities and that can help patients better treatment & can also help improve the quality of life among cancer patients. Karkardooma center is headed by Dr. Randeep Singh, a well-reputed Oncologist.

Consultation fees: ₹1000

2. Rockland Hospital, Katwaria Sarai, Delhi

Rockland Hospitals Limited (RHL) was initially set up in Dec 2004 and has a dedicated department for cancer patients. There is a team of renowned oncologists who have a wide experience in treating different types of cancer. The hospital also has all the advanced cancer treatments and services that help in better diagnosis and also in better treatment with reduced pain.

Consultation fees: ₹150 - ₹1200

3. Batra Hospital And Medical Research Centre, Tughlaqabad, Delhi

Batra Hospital and Medical Research cancer center is amongst the best cancer hospitals in Delhi. It provides all three specialities- medical, radiation & surgical, under one roof. The center is one of the leading department with the highest standards.

Consultation fees:  ₹700

4. Bhagat Chandra Hospital, Dwarka, Delhi

Oncology or cancer care center at Bhagat Chandra Hospital is headed by highly experienced doctors. The cancer care unit has the latest and advanced technologies for cancer screening & early cancer detection. The center also provided complete treatment & management of the disease.

Consultation fees: ₹1000

5. Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi

Max hospital is known for its personalized and holistic approach for cancer treatment. They are equipped with latest technologies like EUS for real-time cancer staging, SBRT for Radiation therapy, tumor board and molecular oncology. They also have a dedicated day care chemotherapy centre, that is quite helpful while you are on chemo cycle.

Consultation fees: ₹1000

6. Action Cancer Hospital, Paschim Vihar, Delhi

Action Balaji hospital is known for its world class cancer facilities. The center is equipped with latest technology & equipments to provide the best possible treatment of this deadly disease.  

Consultation fees: ₹400 - ₹1050

7. Metro Hospital And Cancer Institute, Preet Vihar, Delhi

Metro hospitals is known for its team of oncologist, which consists of medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists. They have best in class infrastructure and comprehensive facilities that help in better diagnosis, management and treatment of cancer.

Consultation fees: ₹200 - ₹1000

8. Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI Hospital), Sheikh Sarai, Delhi

PSRI cancer center provides best healthcare facility with the most advanced medical technology available anywhere in the world.they have a team of highly trained doctors of international repute along with researchers that work together, helping the patients with new and best treatment.

Consultation fees: ₹300 - ₹1200
9. BLK Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi

At BLK cancer care, the focus is on personalized and comprehensive care to cure cancer. The team of specialists here follows the international standards of care and treatment. They use the latest technology and the most innovative, advanced therapies to diagnose and treat all types of cancer.

Consultation fees: ₹1500

10. Venkateshwar Hospital, Sector 18 Delhi

The Department of Medical Oncology at Venkateshwar Hospital is known for its compassionate and world class treatment. They have the latest diagnostic & treatment machines like PET-CT scanning, 3 Tesla MRI, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics.

Consultation fees: ₹800

Chemotherapy Side Effects - Are You Aware Of Them?

Dr. Mukul Gharote 87% (35 ratings)
MBBS, DM - Oncology, MD - General Medicine
Oncologist, Nashik
Chemotherapy Side Effects - Are You Aware Of Them?

With cancer incidence on the rise, more and more people are receiving chemotherapy. This is, however, not without its set of side effects. These side effects have a bearing on both the physical as well as the emotional health of the patient. There were some reasons due to which chemotherapy side effects were often ignored.

Cancer assumes a bigger disease condition, and so side effects of chemotherapy (or anything else for that matter) assumes a much smaller role. Discussions always revolve around how the situation of the cancer is, and chemotherapy assumes a less role.

  1. The patient thinks that it was the expected response to the chemotherapy.
  2. They also assume that there might be no cure for that side effect.

All these necessitated the need for a systematic assessment tool. This has multiple benefits as below.

  1. It gives a structured framework for the doctor and the patient so that no points are missed during the discussion.
  2. It gives a guideline for the patient to look for chemotherapy side effects.
  3. It improves confidence, as the patient known what to expect from the chemotherapy.
  4. Overall patient outcomes can be improved

The Chemotherapy Symptom Assessment Scale (C-SAS) contains a checklist that contains symptoms which arise only out of chemotherapy treatment.

  1. It was introduced in 2002 and includes not just physical problems but also psychological and sexual issues.
  2. Developed with extensive inputs from both the patient and the doctor community, it has 24 questions. There is also a section for reporting of spontaneous symptoms.
  3. The patient records his symptoms on a regular basis, and this becomes a basis for discussion with the doctor at his next visit. It captures incidence, severity, and also how bothersome it is to the patient.
  4. There is also a section for nurses to include their comments, so the response to treatment to these symptoms is recorded.

Objectives: The C-SAS tool aims to:

  1. Improve reporting of symptoms pertaining to chemotherapy
  2. Help the patient understand the response to chemotherapy
  3. Help the medical fraternity understand the drug behavior
  4. Provide a structured framework for the doctor and patient discussions
  5. Collect more side effects for a particular chemotherapy regimen
  6. Improve overall quality of care

Challenges: Though the C-SAS is quite useful, there are still challenges to it, as below.

  1. Encouraging patients to use it. In many cases, the patients feel uncertain if a symptom is due to chemotherapy or part of cancer.
  2. Ensuring that the staff use it, not just to collect the symptoms but review and treat the symptoms.
  3. Getting some insights out of it, to get a holistic view of patient health.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3664 people found this helpful

Body me koi problem nahi hai aaj subha utha garare. Daily ki tarha kare vomit ho gai garare ke tym kyuki bilkul khali pait tha magar vomit me kuch nahi hu Aa jab body ne pura jor lagaya to halka sa blood aaya us se koi pareshane to nahi.

Dr. Jatin Soni 93% (39957 ratings)
General Physician, Mumbai
Body me koi problem nahi hai aaj subha utha garare. Daily ki tarha kare vomit ho gai garare ke tym kyuki bilkul khali...
Avoid spicy food items and not to eat junk food and we also need to avoid peanuts and potatoes in our daily diet and Take tablet Pan-D before breakfast on empty stomach for three months and always to take a gap of a week before starting it again only if necessary and if Bleeding occurs than we will have to evaluate
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Diet For Mouth Cancer Patients

Dt. Neha Suryawanshi 91% (15122 ratings)
M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Diet For Mouth Cancer Patients

The challenge of a mouth cancer diet is your ability to eat enough of the right nutritional foods even while living with the side effects of treatment. To meet the challenge you may need to change the way you eat your food.
Body reactions to treatment
Once you are under surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, many of your body's healthy cells may be damaged or destroyed. Your body needs a higher amount of nutrition to repair the cells. Without this nutritional boost, you could face malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs when your body is forced to pull nutritional supplies from your fat or muscle tissue, because it is not getting enough in the food you eat and drink.
Often people stop eating or only eat a limited variety of foods when going through cancer treatment. This prevents them from getting the nutrition they need.

You need to maintain a diet rich in nutritional foods including:

Fruits and vegetables
Whole grain breads and cereals
Lean chicken, turkey and fish
Low-fat dairy products

You should cut back on salt, fat, alcohol and sugar. These items not only affect blood pressure, kidney function and your heart - but tests have shown that sugars can actually feed a tumor.Lack of interest in eating

You will probably find that the treatments you are receiving make it difficult to eat the proper foods. You may be experiencing:

Loss of appetite
Diarrhea or constipation
Blistered mouth or throat
Dry mouth
Changes in the taste of the food or in your ability to taste the food

The national cancer institute reports that about one-third of all cancer deaths are due to malnutrition. Your survival depends on your ability to maintain proper nutritional levels, even when side effects are debilitating.
Mouth cancer diet tips on specific mouth cancer diet exists. Your doctor or dietician will recommend that you concentrate on developing an eating plan that makes sure you receive vitamins and minerals your body will need to have a balanced diet.

You may find it difficult to eat with oral cancer. Nausea, soreness and loss of appetite may take away your will to eat, but these difficulties can be overcome with a few healthy eating tips:

Eat small meals.
Eat the most when your feel the best, such as in the morning or mid-day.
Rinse your mouth before eating to get rid of any unusual tastes.
Take very small bites and chew the food until it is liquefied in your mouth.
*eating after radiation

As radiation treatments continue, you may find that you are unable to tolerate some foods and that your mouth is too sensitive to enjoy eating. You can combat this by:

Avoiding acidic or strongly spiced foods
Using plastic utensils if you are experiencing metallic tastes
Trying soft or moist foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Poaching fish in liquids or adding creams and gravies to foods will make them easier to chew and swallow.
Avoiding foods that adhere to the roof or sides of the mouth

Eating after chemo

Sip fluids throughout the day, particularly if your mouth is blistered.
Avoid strong aromas that might increase your nausea.
Avoid hot foods, particularly those with steam. Steam carries nausea-producing aromas.
If eating or chewing solid food becomes too painful, sip nutritional supplement drinks such as boost or ensure.
Make blender drinks from fresh fruits combined with soy or whey protein powders.
Extra nutritional insurance with supplements
Your doctor and dietician will want you to get as many nutrients as possible from whole foods; however, they may also recommend that you supplement your eating by adding powdered or liquid nutritional supplements to blender drinks. Be sure and ask them for their ideas on what you should be eating and in what quantities.
Fill your plate
Divide your plate into quarters.
Fill half your plate with vegetables (five or more servings of fruits and veggies daily).
Fill a quarter of your plate with protein foods.
Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Macronutrient tips

Eating the right proportion of carbs, proteins, and fat is beneficial.
Eat protein at every meal.
Aim for 30 to 45 grams of fiber daily.
Focus on healthy fats, such as fatty fish, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and plant-based oils.
Eat less than 30 percent of your calories from fat (fewer than 67 grams daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).
Cancer-fighting add-ons
Add foods that are beneficial for fighting cancer because they are rich in phytochemicals and/or antioxidants (with the exception of water, which helps hydrate).

Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax or chia seeds daily.
Drink 1 to 4 cups of green tea daily.
Drink plenty of water.
Season foods with herbs and spices.
Take a multivitamin supplement as recommended by your doctor.
Cancer-fighting food group lists

Fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and veggies. John hopkins medicine says fruits and veggies containing cancer-fighting phytochemicals (which help inhibit cancer cell growth) include:

Colorful produce source
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, watercress, bok choy, collards, rutabaga, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts
Carotenoids, which are found in green, orange, and dark yellow fruits and veggies
Cucurbitaceous (plants from the gourd family) fruits and veggies, such as muskmelon, watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, and squash
Umbelliferous (aromatic flowering plants) vegetables, such as carrots, celery, parsnip, and parsley
Solanaceous (nightshade) vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplant
Other cancer-fighting fruits and veggies including citrus fruits, berries, apples, broccoli sprouts, legumes, garlic, shallots, leeks, and onions
Add the following phytochemical-rich herbs and spices to your diet to flavor food, as recommended by john hopkins medicine and ucsf medical center:

Caraway seeds
Licorice root

Choose protein-rich foods at each meal (especially plant proteins), including:

Grilled chicken
Nonfat greek yogurt
Soy products (tofu, tempeh) - note: soy appears to be beneficial for breast cancer patients, but specific amount recommendation aren't established
Nuts and seeds
Nut butters
Eat up to 30 percent of your total calories from fat (67 grams or less daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).

Choose healthy fats, such as:

Plant-based oils
Nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.)
Nut butters
Fish oil

Fill 1/4 your plate with whole grains and starchy vegetables, such as:

Legumes (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.)
Whole grain cereals
Brown rice
Wild rice

Hydrate your body with:

Antioxidant-rich green tea
Vegetable juices. 

1 person found this helpful

What doctors know is that chemotherapy is poison. What they know is that chemotherapy itself causes cancer. What they know is that there are alternative treatments to cure cancer instead of chemo that kills many people why are doctors forbidden to use them? Are they product money out of it? Is killing people a business foe what?

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (16610 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Hello J... If a substance used in a controlled way and on the targeted tissues then it becomes medicine.. If you use them in excess it will.become poison. There are 100 ways to treat cancer... Even many babas and fakirs claim to cure cancer. Everyone tries to treat in their own way. And chemotherapy doesn't kill patients... But if the cancer has spread above the limits then patients even though given treatment dies. You cannot blame doctor's for that... Doctor is also a human being and not god. Yes some of them do malpractice but you cannot see the whole medical field with the same notion..
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Going For Chemotherapy - 12 Things You Must Ask Before You Say Yes!

Dr. Syed Akram Kothwal 89% (11 ratings)
MBBS, Md - Radiation Oncology
Oncologist, Hyderabad
Going For Chemotherapy - 12 Things You Must Ask Before You Say Yes!

Ok, so now that cancer has been diagnosed, and the uncomfortable news that chemotherapy has to be undergone has been put across to the patient, what does a person do? What are his options? Can his/her life ever get back the same meaning and luxury as it had before? These are some of the common queries that would get formed in the mind of the person before undergoing chemotherapy. While chemotherapy itself can be physically daunting, preparing for it and acknowledging it can reduce the hardships and make us less vulnerable. There are also a series of questions to ask the physician before opting for it.

Before that, there is one basic fact that we should acknowledge. It is simply that chemotherapy is not 100% efficient. It has never been, and there are reasons it could never be. The simple fact being that chemotherapy destroys healthy cells along with cancerous cells. It is not selective in killing cancerous cells. The treatment also hampers the immune system to an extent thus making the body prone to a wide variety of infections and diseases. This can inflict serious damage if not properly prepared for. Now let us take a look at some important questions and queries that should be asked to a physician before opting for a chemotherapy treatment.

12 Things you must ask your doctor
1. Why is chemotherapy being recommended for me?
This is the first question to ask and to know why it has been suggested for you instead of other alternative methods.

2. How successful is it for my type of cancer?
Chemotherapy has to be successful or at least minimize the symptoms to an extent. Else there is no reason for you to undergo chemotherapy. Make sure that this aspect is discussed in detail with the physician.

3. What are the side effects?
This is one of the most important queries to be addressed. Chemotherapy is always with side effects - both short term and long term. They have to be addressed before opting for the treatment.

4. What will the treatment involve?
It is mandatory to know the treatment plan and the type of drugs that will be used.

5. What will be the duration of each treatment?
It is important to know the length of each treatment and duration. Some of the treatments have to be done in the hospital, and proper planning needs to be done before each cycle.

6. How many sessions will the chemotherapy treatment consist of?
A key point to be addressed is the number of sessions needed to make the chemotherapy a success.

7. What are the drugs that would be taken?
Knowing the drugs will play a significant role in identifying the disease. Kindly ensure that the physician discusses in detail about the types of drug used.

8. Are there any other drugs that could be used for fewer side effects?
Consult with your physician about your aversions and check if there are other drugs that can minimize the side effects.

9. What would be the other treatment along with the chemotherapy?
Get to know the other treatments that you have to undertake along with chemotherapy. Usually, these types of treatments would be taken to minimize the side effects.

10. Are there any other drugs that are undergoing trials that could be prescribed for me?
This is a general awareness, and since research is always done for improving the treatment, the doctor can advise on the new types of drugs that are available in the market.

11. Is there any alternative treatment available than chemotherapy?
Alternative treatments are mostly rare but you can check across with the physician to get a general awareness.

12. Who is the emergency contact person if I get unwell during treatment?
Have the contact number always with you. There can be some side effects and illness that have to be addressed without losing time when undergoing the treatment.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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