Reasons for Procedure
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Appetite loss
- Hair loss
- Low red blood cell count —anemia
- Weakened immune system and increased infections
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and/or feet, or weakness due to nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Damage to the heart muscle
- Interruption of the menstrual period
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Allergy medicines, such as an anti-histamine
- Anti-nausea medicines
Description of the Procedure
- Injection into a muscle or vein (IV)
- Catheter tube into the bladder, abdomen, chest cavity, brain, spinal cord, or liver
- Application to the skin
|Chemotherapy Through Cardiovascular System|
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How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Medicines to take at home, such as anti-nausea medicine
- Injections of an immune-system or blood cell boosting drug
- Other drugs, including steroids, allergy medicines, sedatives, and antibiotics
- Get a lot of sleep.
- Try to do some physical activity each day. Exercise can help to reduce fatigue.
- Try to eat a healthy diet.
- Drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Use special mouth rinses to avoid or treat mouth sores.
- Administer post-chemotherapy shots if they are prescribed by your doctor. These will help to keep your blood count stable.
- Try to avoid people with diseases that can be spread easily, including children. Chemotherapy will likely weaken your immune system. Viral illnesses, such as the cold or flu, can have serious effects.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Sores in your mouth, throat, or lips
- White patches in your mouth
- Difficulty/pain with swallowing
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Vomiting that prevents you from holding down fluids
- Blood in your vomit
- Easy bruising
- Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, new vaginal bleeding
- Blood in your urine or stool
- Burning or frequency of urination
- Cough, trouble breathing, or chest pain
- Severe weakness
- Shortness of breath or cough
- Calf pain, swelling, or redness in the legs or feet
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
- New pain or pain that you cannot control with the medication you were given
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your extremities
- Joint pain, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or a pimple at the site of your IV
- Headache, stiff neck
- Hearing or vision changes
- Ringing in your ears
- Exposure to someone with an infectious illness, including chickenpox
- Weight gain or loss of 10 pounds or more
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Cancer Care Ontario http://www.cancercare.on.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Abeloff MD. Clinical Oncology. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.
Chemotherapy and you. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemotherapy-and-you. Accessed April 3, 2013.
Understanding chemotherapy. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemo-side-effects/understandingchemo. Updated August 2008. Accessed April 3, 2013.
10/26/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Adamsen L, Quist M, Andersen C, et al. Effect of a multimodal high intensity exercise intervention in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b3410.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 04/03/2013 -