WHAT IS CHEMOTHERAPY?
Chemotherapy is a form of treatment with natural or artificial drugs that aim to stop or destroy the growth and proliferation of abnormal cells in the human body.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CHEMOTHERAPY?
It is applied for the purpose of controlling the elimination or proliferation of non-normal cells in the body while harming less damage to the patients’ normal cells.
WHAT ARE THE WAY OF CHEMOTHERAPY APPLICATION?
· In the form of mouth, tablets or capsules.
· In the form of intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
· intravenous infusion.
· Regionally (specific to the organ)
· Subcutaneous application.
· Application into the spinal cord.
· Sometimes two or three ways can be given at the same time.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE DURING THE INTRAVENOUS APPLICATION OF CHEMOTHERAPY?
Since there should not be much movement during treatment, a comfortable position should be taken.
- You can get a small pillow with the aim of supporting under your arm to take long treatment.
- Before starting the treatment, the nurse's explanations should be carefully listened.
- If the pain, redness, burning, stinging sensation is heard during the intravenous needle application, the doctor or nurse should be informed immediately. The drug may be getting out of the vein.
- Tell the nurse or doctor in case of any problems that may develop during the application of the drug.
WHERE CAN I GET THE CHEMOTHERAPY?
In the field of chemotherapy, you can take your medication in hospitals where trained health personnel are present.
HOW MANY DAYS WILL THE THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT CONTINUES? CAN I TAKE THE TREATMENT OUTSIDE OF THE HOSPITAL?
Chemotherapy is usually in the form of at least 2, sometimes 4-5 drugs in the form of oral or intravenous intravenous application of the drug and this process will be ended in 4-7 days. These treatments are usually repeated once in every 4-6 weeks. The total treatment time is adjusted according to the response to treatment. Of course, you may receive chemotherapy outside of the hospital, but elderly patients, those who take high doses of the drug, patients with a high risk of complications, is need to receive the treatment at the hospital.
IF YOU ARE USING ANY KIND OF MEDICINE FOR ANOTHER DISEASE?
When taking chemotherapy, you should always use these medicines in consultation with your doctor.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS IN CHEMOTHERAPY?
Unfortunately, there are some undesirable side effects, although the benefits of the drugs used in chemotherapy.These undesirable side effects cause additional problems for the patient, his / her family and the treatment team. Undesirable side effects are sometimes so intense that it may even cause interruption of the treatment.
There may be various allergic reactions during or after administration of chemotherapy drugs. There may be a variety of complaints such as a feeling of distress, itching, redness of the skin and swelling, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.You should tell your nurse or doctor if you feel unwell during the procedure or in any abnormal condition.
SIDE EFFECTS ON THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM:
1) Nausea and vomiting: Treatment may cause irritation in the digestive system, sometimes a medication may be given, sometimes after a period of nausea and vomiting may occur. In order to prevent this, the drug is prescribed for protective purposes. If the nausea is repeated after the medication, please inform the staff.
2) How should you be fed in cases of nausea and vomiting?
If you have persistent nausea and vomiting despite drug use:
- Do not swiftly eat and drink.
- Do not eat anything for 1-2 hours before and after treatment.
- In the first day after chemotherapy, prefer liquid and soft foods.
- You should try to eat your meals less often and often (for example, you can add snacks between three main meals).
- In case of nausea, you should drink water and liquid foods not with your meals, but at least an hour before or after one hour.
- You should avoid fatty, very sweet or fried foods.
- Keep food warm / cold or at room temperature.
- You should choose odorless food.
- If possible, do not prepare food yourself during periods of nausea.
· During nausea, acid-free fruit juices such as apples, caffeine-free soda drinks can be useful.
- If you have morning sickness, prefer breakfast, such as bread, toast, biscuits and crackers.
- Always stay away from the smell of cigarette, perfume and food and ventilate your location.
- Do not sleep for at least 2 hours after a meal.
- Do not force yourself to eat during periods of severe nausea and vomiting; You should start eating with liquid foods at least 3-4 hours after vomiting.
- if the vehicle journey makes you feel bad, do not travel immediately after chemotherapy
3) Loss of appetite and taste disorders: Nausea and vomiting, adequate changes in sense of taste and causes a feeling of satiety and appetite by blocking the balanced food consumption.
What should you do in case of anorexia?
- We stated that complaints of loss of appetite and taste during treatment may occur.Weight loss is an undesirable condition. Therefore, sometimes you should eat not only because you want and taste but also because you have to.
- Take plenty of fluids and make sure that these fluids are nutritious (milk, buttermilk, juices, special soups).
- If your meals are cold or lukewarm, you can reduce the odor and allow you to eat more comfortably.
- Meat and meat products often cause disgust during treatment. In this case, the need for protein can be met with milk and dairy products and vegetable proteins such as legumes.
-During the day when your appetite is good, then you should eat your biggest meal.
- If you can eat less than one at a time, try to eat in the form of a snack. High-calorie food for snacking or ready to be sold in pharmacies, can take advantage of beverages containing balanced nutrients.
What should you do with taste disorders?
The reason is the damage to the soft tissue of the mouth of chemotherapy drugs.
- During the chemotherapy you can feel the drug in your mouth during this time you can eat crackers or solid sugar.
· You should try to get protein food at this meal, as you can usually eat better in the morning.
- You should prefer proteins (chicken, fish, eggs and cheese) that you can eat especially comfortably.
4) Wounds in the mouth: Cells laying in the mouth and throat may also be affected by chemotherapy drugs. Accordingly, painful, can cause bleeding, the person's feeding wounds may be opened. These wounds often occur at the end of the first week and last for 2-3 weeks. Contact your physician in such cases.
What should you do if you have mouth sores and swallowing difficulties?
- If you have problems with your teeth, be treated before the start of chemotherapy.
- The tissues inside the mouth and esophagus can be damaged due to both drug and radiation treatment. You should check your mouth every day.
- Pain, burning and difficult swallowing may occur. To reduce pain, you should discuss with your doctor and follow your advice.
- In addition to soft, lukewarm and acid-free foods (rice pudding, custard, baby food, undercooked eggs, cheese, puree, boiled potatoes, pasta, bananas, etc.) should prefer.
- You should make your mouthwash regular and increase the number of mouthwashes if necessary.
- Take plenty of fluids.
- Tomato, orange, lemon, grapefruit, such as sour and acidic fruit juices, raw vegetables, dry and hard foods (crackers, toast, bread crust), spicy, spicy and very salty foods stay away from.
- Try to swallow food that is a little dry and the medicines you need to swallow.
- Your toothbrush must be soft.
- You should stay away from cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
SIDE EFFECTS ON BLOOD CELLS:
1-Decrease in blood values: Usually side effects that may occur around the 2nd week. There are three important substances (cells) in the blood. These are: leukocytes, erythrocytes and platelets.
1A ) reduction of leukocytes: namely leukocyte white blood cells, play an important role in the body's immune system. Therefore, the number of leukocyte counts that can be seen after chemotherapy or the development of dysfunction is reduced resistance to infections. The most important indicator of the development of infection is fever. Especially fever with chills and shivering is suggestive of infection. In case of fever, all you need to do is to get in touch with your doctor. Blood tests should be performed immediately to determine whether leukocytes are low.
What should you do to avoid fever?
- Care should be taken to clean the hands during the day. Wash hands thoroughly before meals.
- Clean rectal area well after you make the big toilet.
- Cleaning of food, especially for the people who prepare meals because of great importance in terms of infection, wash your hands very well, used in the washing of fruits and vegetables if possible and care should be taken to peel off the shell.
- Stay away from those who have signs of infection such as cold, fever or cough.
- Boil your drinking water, use a ready-made water bottle.
- especially don’t consume food sold in the open, and don’t prefer to eat outside.
- If the leukocytes (white blood cells) are low in the blood test, do not eat raw vegetables, fruit and uncooked food from the outside, do not sprinkle black pepper and other spices on your meals.
- Avoid close contacts, such as kissing and handshaking, especially when turning low leukocytes.
- Do not enter into crowded places such as buses, coffee houses, theaters, shopping malls.
- When cutting your nails, be careful not to cut from the bottom and not to damage your skin.
- If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer to prevent cracking.
- Use a shaver to shave your skin while shaving.
- You must stay away from the animals.
- Pay attention to have enough rest.
- you should make sure your weekly bath and if possible you should change your underwear every day, you should pay attention to the cleaning of the private areas on your body.
- You should take care of your mouth, brush your teeth regularly, you should make your mouthwash.
- You should use a mask.
- Do not keep anything in your room that may contain germs that may cause infection such as flowers, vase water, bird cages.
- Do not take the flu or pneumonia vaccines, please talk to your doctor on this issue.
What are the signs of infection?
- Having a fever of 38 ° C or above
- Chills and shivering
- Cough and expectoration
- Runny nose, nasal congestion
- that burning pain while urinating, frequent urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Eye, pain around the nose
- Vascular tract, catheter, pain, redness, discharge, heat increase
- In such cases, you should contact your physician immediately.
B) Erythrocytes: The erythrocytes are the cells that carry oxygen in the blood. With chemotherapy, there is a decrease in the construction of these cells in the bone marrow. This condition is called anemia. It may cause weakness, palpitation and fatigue due to decreased body oxygenation. You should discuss your condition with your physician when you have such complaints. In these cases;
- Rest well.
- Try to sleep at night, and if possible during the day.
- Restrict your daily activities. Do not be busy except for compulsory needs.
- If necessary, ask your relatives to help you with your work.
- Pay attention to your diet and fluid intake.
- Avoid sudden movements. Move slowly, especially when getting up from places such as beds, toilets and seats. When you get up quickly, dizziness may be blacking. Be careful.
1- C) Less Thrombocytes: Platelets are the blood cells required for the coagulation event that controls the bleeding. Some chemotherapy drugs may cause these cells to fall. This increases the tendency to bleed. For this reason, if you have bleeding complaints (urine, feces, stomach content or sputum blood, small areas of bleeding in the area of the spot and small bruises or large bruises) should contact your doctor.
- You should use an electric shaver when shaving. You should stay away from piercing and cutting tools such as razor blades, scissors and needles.
· You should use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth.
- Consult your doctor before taking herbal mixtures, vitamin-containing preparations. These products may include aspirin, which reduces platelet levels.
· You should avoid strong wheezing and coughing.
- Do not participate in activities that are subject to impact, stay away from sudden movements.
· You should avoid drugs that cause a tendency to bleed, especially aspirin.
- Injections must be made by the health personnel with the recommendation of a doctor.
SIDE EFFECTS ON THE EXCRETORY SYSTEM:
If the color of the urine is red:
This may be due to bleeding in the urinary tract or the excretion of the drug in the urine. Some drugs used in treatment may cause bleeding in the urinary tract. This may require some additional measures. Therefore, if you have such a complaint, you should talk to your doctor.
Diarrhea: One of the organs that chemotherapy frequently affects is the intestines. Changes in nutrition may also contribute to this. Diarrhea is caused by infections caused by chemotherapy drugs to kill bowel cells or to decrease resistance to microbes. If your diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours, or if you have plenty of severe cramping, you should talk to your doctor. Medical treatment and examination can be performed where necessary. Do not take any other treatment without asking your doctor.
- Check the color and shape of the stool, if you see a change, you should inform your doctor.
- Save or keep in mind the number of stools.
- Clean your genital area and hands thoroughly.
- Warm sitting baths can be useful for relaxation.
- You should wear cotton clothes instead of nylon laundry.
- It's very important that you follow your weight. You should also inform your doctor about your weight loss.
- In addition to your doctor's advice, you should avoid fibrous foods (such as raw vegetables and fruits, whole wheat bread, nuts), fatty foods, chocolate, hot spicy food, pickles and alcoholic beverages during your diarrhea.
- Choose foods that are nutritious and rich in potassium such as cheese, eggs, boiled potatoes, rice porridge, pasta, bananas, peaches, buttermilk and yogurt.
- You need to take at least 3 liters of liquid per day.
- Drink slowly and keep at room temperature.
- Do not take hot or cold beverages.
- Stay away from cola drinks, coffee, dark tea and alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid foods containing milk and milk, especially ice cream. Such foods can increase your diarrhea.
- Pay attention to take low meals frequently.
What should you do in case of constipation?
- Constipation is common because of the side effects of some chemotherapy drugs, low eating and immobility.
- You should try to get plenty and especially warm liquid food.
- It may be useful to drink a glass of warm water, especially in the morning.
- You should choose foods with sticks (raw and cooked vegetables, crustaceans and fruit, compotes, nuts, bran bread and popcorn).
- You must increase your movement as much as possible. Short walks will be helpful.
- It will help you to eat your meals regularly.
- You should go to the toilet when you feel defecation. This way, it will be easier to get regular toilet habit.
- If you still have constipation, you should consult your doctor.
Effects on kidneys: Some chemotherapy drugs may cause bleeding by direct damage to the urinary tract. Some drugs may also impair the function of the kidney. There may be temporary changes in the color of urine due to chemotherapy, odor changes lasting 1-2 days. Abundance of fluid intake can minimize the incidence and severity of these side effects. At least 3 liters of fluid should be taken daily. Coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages and spicy foods that irritate the urinary tract should be avoided. No smoking required. Urine need to be eliminated in two hours and urinary changes should be paid attention.
You should talk to your doctor in case of pain and pain when urinating, frequent urination, urination, incontinence, red color, fever and chills.
SIDE EFFECTS ON SKIN AND NAIL:
In the skin after chemotherapy; redness, thickening, rash, drying, shedding and peeling, acne, sensitivity to sunlight, nails; there may be lines, rupture or discoloration. These problems are mostly mild and do not require additional treatment.
What should you do for skin and nail changes?
- Relax with a warm or cool shower.
- You must be protected from the sun.
- Clean and dry your face when acne occurs.
- If your skin is dry, you can apply moisturizing cream. Avoid alcoholic substances such as cologne, perfume, shaving lotion.
- Ask your doctor for itchy areas.
- You can benefit from wet application to dry-itchy places.
- It is useful to wear plenty of cotton clothing.
- You should also avoid attempts to scratch your skin.
- Cut your nails short and keep your hands clean.
- Wear gloves to protect your nails when dealing with water, when dealing with house-gardening.
Hair loss: Not all of the chemotherapy drugs do this side effect. It is a temporary condition that occurs when chemotherapy affects hair cells and stops hair growth. Hair loss will continue for a certain time and then stop. But your hair will grow again. Therefore, do not be sad.
What should you do with hair loss?
- You can use scarves or wigs during these periods.
- You can use the eyebrow pencil for your eyebrows.
- Shampoo your hair frequently with baby shampoo.
- Avoid perms and hair coloring process.
- If your hair is long, you should take it so that it is not ruined and mixed.
- Use a soft bristle brush and brush as little as possible.
- Protect your head from sunlight, hot and cold, chemicals, hair dryers.
SIDE EFFECTS ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM:
Influence rate depending on the patient treatment protocol, the patient's general condition and age.
- This may result in loss of reproductive ability permanently or temporary. Please discuss with your physician if you would like to have a baby.
- The sex function is usually not lost. However, problems such as distress, sadness, feeding problems and other side effects of chemotherapy can be affected negatively.
- Contraception should be performed during treatment.
- A condom should be used up to 48 hours after the last dose of the drug because of the passage of the dose of chemotherapy medication to the spermatozoa.
- Some chemotherapy drugs may affect hormone production by affecting the cells in the ovaries.
- In patients who are affected by hormone production, menstrual irregularity may cause permanent or temporary cessation of menstruation.
- Fertility capability may be lost (as in the type of drug, dose, factors such as the woman's age is important).Therefore, if you want children, you should talk to your doctor.
- If the patient is entered into the menopause, in the reduction of the complaint of hot flash; caffeine and alcohol intake, exercise, relaxation methods may be useful.
- Contraceptıon must be performed.
Fatigue-Weakness is any unwillingness to do anything. This may occur depending on many reasons such as, Nutrition , treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy), the disease itself, sleep disorders, pain, sadness and low blood values. You may talk to your doctor about the cause of your fatigue.
What should you do if you have fatigue and weakness?
- Keep your energy for your compulsory needs.
- Begin the treatment with eneough rested.
- Try to do your daily activities in a more practical or short time. If possible, take short walks or mild exercises.
- All your work must be planned and there must be rest periods in between.
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine-containing beverages.
- You can ask family members to help.
- Enough sleep and rest, slow motion and good nutrition will help you quite