Chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer

Chemotherapy is a systemic drug treatment that is intended to kill cancer cells in the body. There are many chemotherapy drugs available today. All types of chemotherapy have the potential for side effects, some of which can be serious. Different drugs can cause different side effects, so ask your healthcare provider about the particular chemotherapy drugs you will be taking. Most of the side effects of chemotherapy are temporary, with some exceptions.

The more common side effects from chemotherapy include the following:

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood cell counts, which may result in an increased susceptibility to infection or increased risk of bleeding
  • Premature menopause

While these side effects are certainly difficult, there are effective practical strategies for dealing with them when they occur. You will need to speak to your doctor and other chemotherapy patients for the best advise.

Dealing with the emotional issues of side effects is much different. It helps to talk with someone who has had chemotherapy -- about how they got through it. The follow is one book written to help you through chemotherapy. More books are available at the Breast Cancer Bookstore.

Coping With Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy, Daniel Cukier

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