Cancer Support Group

Saturday, Jul 11th

Last update:06:42:40 AM GMT

General Queries on Cancer

Can I take other medicines while I am getting Chemotherapy?
Some medicines may interfere with the effects of your Chemotherapy. That is why you should take a list of all your medications to your doctor before you start Chemotherapy. Your list should include the name of each drug, how often you take it, the reason you take it, and the dosage.

Remember to include over–the–counter drugs such as laxatives, cold pills, pain relievers, and vitamins. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of these medications before you start Chemotherapy. After your treatments begin, be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new medicines or stopping the ones you already are taking.

Will I be able to work during Chemotherapy?
Most people are able to continue working while they are being treated with anti–cancer drugs. It may be possible to schedule your treatments late in the day or right before the weekend, so they interfere with work as little as possible.

If your Chemotherapy makes you very tired, you might want to think about adjusting your work schedule for a while. Speak with your employer about your needs and wishes at this time. You may be able to agree on a part–time schedule, or perhaps you can do some of your work at home.

How will I know if my Chemotherapy is working?
Your doctor and nurse will use several methods to measure how well your treatments are working. You will have frequent Physical exams, Blood tests, Scans, and X–rays. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor about the test results and what they show about your progress.

While Tests and Exams can tell a lot about how Chemotherapy is working, side effects tell very little. (Side effects – such as Nausea or hair loss – occur because Chemotherapy harms some normal cells as well as cancer cells.) Sometimes people think that if they don’t have side effects, the drugs aren’t working, or that, if they do have side effects, the drugs are working well. But side effects vary so much from person to person, and from drug to drug, that having them or not having them usually isn’t a sign of whether the treatment is effective.

If you do have side effects, there is a lot you can do to help relieve them. The next section of this document describes some of the most common side effects of Chemotherapy and gives you some hints for coping with them.

Coping with side effects?
If you have questions about side effects, you are not alone. Before Chemotherapy starts, most people are concerned about whether they will have side effects and, if so, what they will be like. Once treatments begin, people who have side effects want to know the best ways to cope with them. This section will answer some of your questions.

If you are reading this section before you start Chemotherapy, you may feel overwhelmed by the wide range of side effects it describes. But remember every person doesn’t get every side effect, and some people get few, if any. In addition, the severity of side effects varies greatly from person to person.

Whether you have a particular side effect, and how severe it will be, depends on the kind of Chemotherapy you get and how your body reacts. Be sure to talk to your doctor and nurse about which side effects are most likely to occur with your Chemotherapy, how long they might last, how serious they might be, and when you should seek medical attention for them.


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