Chemotherapy Frequently asked Questions
1. What are the side effects of chemotherapy?
Side effects vary from patient to patient and with the type of chemotherapy drugs used. The good news is that there are therapies to help you cope with some side effects, like medication, support groups etc.
Most people fear loss of hair, even though it is temporary, as the hair will grow back. The most important thing to remember is that chemotherapy helps treat the problem at hand.
Some common side effects of chemotherapy include:
• Temporary hair loss
• Nausea and vomiting
• Increased risk of infection
• Increased sun sensitivity
• Numbness or weakness in the hands and feet
2. What is cancer screening?
Cancer screenings are medical tests done onhealthy persons who donâ€™t exhibits signs of illness. Screening helps to detect cancer at an early stage, when the chances for successfully treating the disease are greatest. The test done; and the frequency depend upon the individual chances of getting cancer.
3. Do patients who have undergone chemotherapy have increased chance of bruising, bleeding, infection, and anemia after chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy destroys some bone marrow cells, causing decrease in blood cell count, namely the platelets, white and red blood cells. Drop in the levels of any one of these cells leads to certain side effects. While you do risk the chance of bruising or bleeding easily and may be prone to infection, your doctor will recommend simple precautionary measure that will enable you to become conscious of the things that could harm you, like avoiding contact sport, using an electric shaver instead of a razor, washing hands often in the day, staying away from people with diseasesetc.
During chemotherapy the doctor regularly monitors the complete blood count (CBC) and will recommend treatment and take precautions accordingly.
4. Does chemotherapy cause impotency?
Chemotherapy can cause impotency in some cases. It could lower the number of sperm cells, reduce their ability to move, or cause other changes, resulting in short or long-term infertility, but it does not affect sexual organs or the ability to have sex. Though, it does cause permanent infertility in some patients. It is best to speak to the doctor about this.
5. Will I be able to have children after chemotherapy?
Yes, you may be able to have children after chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not hinder the ability to conceive or bear children permanently.