How to take care of your friend or family member after chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is, broadly speaking, any medicine used to treat cancer. Each remedy works in its own way and has its own side effects. Other than that, even if they receive the same medicine, each patient can react differently. Even so, some recommendations apply to all patients.
Tips To Take care of your friend or family member after chemotherapy
Whenever a patient undergoing chemotherapy has a severe symptom, such as vomiting that does not improve with medication, bloody diarrhea, or mouth sores that make eating difficult, they should seek medical help.
Special attention should be paid to fever, which is any temperature above 37.8°C. Chemotherapy patients may have serious infections, such as pneumonia, and not experience any symptoms other than fever. Therefore, even if the patient is feeling well, you must help a patient if he/she has a fever.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE?
Most of the time, the patient undergoing chemotherapy does not need a room or special cutlery, does not need to wear a mask, and does not need to be away from close family members. When this is necessary, chemotherapy is carried out on an inpatient basis. Patients should only avoid people who clearly have the flu, because of the risk of catching the flu as well.
Other than that, you must give medications to the patient according to the doctor's prescription.
WILL PATIENT'S HAIR FALL OUT?
Not all chemotherapy leads to complete hair loss. When it happens, it starts about 3 weeks after the first dose of treatment and continues until the end of treatment. After the patient stops receiving chemotherapy, the hair grows back, and it is not uncommon to grow more frizzy than it originally was.
Some oncology centers have devices that prevent hair loss in up to 50% of cases, but unfortunately, they are still not covered by health insurance. If you're looking for a gift for someone in your family who is undergoing chemotherapy, consider our Eyebrow Wig.
WHAT TO EAT DURING CHEMOTHERAPY?
We hear many stories about how diet is important for health. That's why we listened to the most different recommendations for special diets to help with cancer treatment. The danger of these diets is that, in general, they are very restricted and, like any diet that leaves a person's common eating habit, it can lead to weight loss. This, in a patient who is already losing weight because of their illness, can be dangerous.
Unfortunately, there is no food or vitamin that has been proven to help fight cancer, so the diet should focus on ensuring adequate nutritional intake and counteracting the effects of chemotherapy.
Helpful hints are:
- Patients who have difficulty eating should take small amounts several times a day, even if they are not hungry. The use of supplements in powdered form added to food, yogurts, and shakes is helpful, as they provide a large amount of calories in small portions. It is recommended to discuss the most suitable supplement with a nutritionist.
- Patients with nausea from chemotherapy often feel sick with strong odors. Foods with less spice and consumed cold or at room temperature generate less nausea. It is also preferable that these patients are not in the kitchen during food preparation. At the time of nausea, lemon popsicles or ginger candy can help.
- Some chemotherapies cause diarrhea. In these cases, fatty foods, milk, and beans can generate gas and worsen symptoms.
WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
Studies show that patients who perform light to moderate activities during chemotherapy are less tired and tolerate the treatment better. Therefore, patients should, as much as possible, exercise during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the best exercise for the patient.