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Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer


When it comes to lung cancer, chemotherapy essentially means the use of cytotoxic (cell-killing) medications to kill cancer cells or make them less active. Chemotherapy medications work by killing rapidly dividing cells. Since cancer cells divide more frequently than most cells, they are particularly susceptible to these drugs. Some normal cells also divide continuously, such as hair follicles, the stomach lining, and the bone marrow that makes red and white blood cells.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Side effects of chemotherapy vary depending on the medications you are given, and other factors such as your age, sex, and general medical condition. Everyone responds to chemotherapy differently. You may have few chemo side effects or find the symptoms quite troubling. Sometimes a medication may need to be changed, but often there are medications and treatments that can control your symptoms and make you more comfortable. So, make sure to share any symptoms you are experiencing with your health care team.

The most common side effects are related to the effect of chemotherapy on rapidly dividing cells. Therefore, symptoms such as hair loss, digestive tract symptoms such as mouth sores and nausea, and a lowering of your white and red blood cell counts from suppression of your bone marrow may occur. Here are the following list you may have once you entering chemotherapy as your treatment.

    • Nausea and Vomiting
    • Mouth Sores
    • Taste Changes
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Fatigue
    • Anemia(low red blood cell count)
    • Neutropenia(low white blood cell count)
    • Thrombocytopenia(low platelet count)
    • Hair Loss
    • Skin Change
    • Fingernail changes
    • Depression
    • Chemobrain(cognitive changes after chemotherapy)
    • Peripheral Neuropathy

See these related posts on HealthLob.com about lung cancer and radiation therapy.

 

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