Managing Your Treatment
Many cancer treatments come with side effects. Below are some strategies to deal with these symptoms so that you can concentrate on fighting cancer:
Fatigue is the most common symptom experienced by cancer patients. Fatigue is treatable; however, most patients do not report symptoms to their doctor in the belief that it may not be "important." Cancer-related fatigue can have a serious impact on quality of life, as well as physical symptoms.
Just having cancer can cause fatigue. Other causes include:
- Aggressive surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
- Chemotherapy-induced anemia.
- Sleep disorders.
- Emotional distress.
- Pre-existing medical conditions: uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid problems, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Coping with fatigue can include:
- Regular exercise
- Limiting naps
- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and nicotene
- Maintaining regular sleeping patterns.
- Do not read or watch TV in the bedroom.
About one-third of patients being treated for cancer experience pain, which can take many forms. It may be short-lived or long-lasting, mild or severe, or affect one or a few organs, bones or organ systems. Since each patient’s pain is unique, cance pain management treatment plans must be tailored to address individual needs.
Causes of Cancer Pain can include:
- Pain from the tumour
- Treatment-related pain
- Post-operative pain.
Treating pain can include:
- Non-opioids for mild to moderate pain.
- Opioids for moderate to severe pain.
- Antidepressants & Antipileptics for tingling and burning pain.
- Steroids for pain caused by swelling.
How pain medicine is taken:
- Rectal suppositories
- Transdermal patches
Many chemotherapy drugs and radiation cause nausea (upset stomach), but there are medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting. Please talk to your doctor or nurse if you are having nausea. You can either take medicines by mouth or intravenously (through a vein) when you have chemotherapy. Unfortunately, some patients still have some nausea. If the medicines do not help you, please go to the nearest emergency room right away. You may need fluids if you have not been able to eat or drink.