Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Side Effects to Certain Cancer Treatments

Surgery

How it Can Affect Eating

Increases the need for good nutrition. May slow digestion. May lessen the ability of the mouth, throat and stomach to work properly. Adequate nutrition helps wound-healing and recovery.

What Sometimes Happens: Side Effects

Before surgery, a high-protein, high calorie diet may be prescribed if a patient is underweight or weak. After surgery, some patients may not be able to eat normally at first. They may receive nutrients through a needle in their arm or through a tube in their nose or stomach.



Radiation Therapy

How it Can Affect Eating

As it damages cancer cells, it also may affect healthy cells and healthy parts of the body.

What Sometimes Happens: Side Effects

Treatment of head, neck, chest or breast may cause:
• Dry mouth
• Sore mouth
• Sore throat
• Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
• Change in taste of food
• Dental problems
• Increased phlegm
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Cramps, bloating



Chemotherapy

How it Can Affect Eating

As it destroys cancer cells, it also may affect the digestive system and the desire or ability to eat.

What Sometimes Happens: Side Effects

• Nausea and vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Sore mouth or throat
• Weight gain or loss
• Change in taste of food



Biological Therapy, Immunotherapy

How it Can Affect Eating

As it stimulates your immune system to fight cancer cells, it can affect the desire or ability to eat.

What Sometimes Happens: Side Effects

• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Sore mouth
• Severe weight loss
• Dry mouth
• Change in taste of food
• Muscle aches, fatigue, fever



Hormonal Therapy

How it Can Affect Eating

Some types can increase appetite and change how the body handles fluids.

What Sometimes Happens: Side Effects

• Changes in appetite
• Fluid retention

Source: National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov

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