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Posted by Womens Health Zone on Friday, March 2, 2012 - 15:28 | Cancer and Wellness

This is a guest post by WomenHealthZone.com, a blog specializing in womens health. The blog among others covers topics such as breast cancer, fibroids, diabetes, obesity, reproductive health, infertility, birth control, and PMS.

 

The Truth About the Side Effects of Breast Cancer Therapy

 

Radiation therapy and breast cancer therapy are used to stop the division of the cancer cells, but on the other hand, they also affect the healthy cells. There are numerous different kinds of side effects that you can experience and these include loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness, hair loss or premature menopause.

Loss of appetite

This is one of the most common side effects of breast cancer therapy. Still there are some actions you could have in order to maintain your health. One of them is to have several small meals during the day instead of the three major meals.

Instead of the regular meals you could have instant breakfasts or different nutritional shakes. You should have the largest meal when you are most hungry. The time of this differs from one person to the other.

It is a good idea to be drinking the beverages some time before or after eating, so that it won’t affect your appetite. One way to increase your appetite is to have some physical exercise.

Vomiting and nausea

There are some patients that experience nausea. In order to reduce it you could be taking antiemetics before chemotherapy. Observe when the symptoms appear. In some cases they can be seen right after the treatment or only days later.

In order to make nausea better you should have several smaller meals and you shouldn’t have any greasy or fatty foods or citrus. You could also try eating foods at room temperature instead of hot or cold. When you are experiencing nausea you could try eating foods like crackers, ice chips, gelatin, rice, apple sauce or mashed potatoes.

In case you are vomiting often, this is something that you should mention to your doctor. After vomiting you shouldn’t be eating or drinking anything for an hour, and then start with ice chips. There are some teas that could help you such as ginger root tea or chamomile.

Fatigue and weakness

There are a lot of different reasons for which these symptoms could occur. It could be the treatment, or stress, poor diet, inactivity, pain or low blood counts.

To take care of the problem you should make sure that you have enough rest. During the night you should sleep for about 8 hours and it is also a good idea to have some rest during the day. In case it has an effect on the quality of sleep, you shouldn’t have any caffeine.

A bit of exercise never hurts. Even more, if you take a walk, for example, you could have increased levels of energy and appetite. If you experience fatigue, a bit of exercise could help you get more rest.

Remember that you don’t have to perform all the activities that you did before. There is nothing wrong with asking for some help with the daily chores.

It might be important to have enough iron in your diet. In case you experience any pain, you should let your oncologist know. There is no point in suffering in silence.

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