Lung Cancer Chemotherapy
Lung cancer chemotherapy involves using anti cancer drugs that work to destroy the cancer cells in the lungs. By destroying the cancer cells it disrupts their growth. There are many types of lung cancer chemotherapy drugs that are available. Some of them are docetaxel, gemcitabine, carboplatin vinorelbine, paclitaxel and cisplatin. These lung cancer chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in combination with each other.
Lung cancer chemotherapy drugs are given intravenously (by injection) or orally through a tablet. A session of lung cancer chemotherapy can last a few days with a few weeks of rest in between the sessions. How many lung cancer chemotherapy sessions you will have will depend upon the type of lung cancer you have and it if is responding to the chemotherapy medication.
Most anyone who knows anything about chemotherapy understands that it can produce very unpleasant side effects. Yet, there are some individuals who have few side effects and those that do occur can often be controlled with another prescription medication.
One of the most common side affects of lung cancer chemotherapy is that is lowers a person’s resistance to infection. Chemotherapy can affect the white blood cell production in the bones which can make a person at risk for acquring an infection. This lowered resistance to infection can arise as early as one week after treatment and it can continue up to two weeks after a chemotherapy treatment.
The break that is given in between chemotherapy sessions is to allow your white blood cells to increase before another lung cancer chemotherapy session is started. You will generally have a blood test before a chemotherapy treatment to ensure that your cells have recovered before you start another treatment. If your cells have not rebounded the next treatment may be delayed.
Other common side effects of lung cancer chemotherapy includes brusing or bleeding, anemia, feeling ill, mouth soreness, hair loss and tiredness. Brusing and bleeding can result from chemotherapy because it can reduce the production of platelets which clot the blood. You should notify your doctor if you have any brusing or bleeding.
Anemia is often a common side effect of lung cancer chemotherapy. It can me you feel like you are breathless and tired. Feeling ill is also a common occurrence in lung cancer chemotherapy treatments. The drugs that are used can can nausea and vomiting. If you experience nausea and vomiting you will probably be given medication to prevent and reduce the symptoms.
Mouth soreness and the development of mouth ulcers is also a problem for some cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. It is important that you keep your moth clean at all time. Hair loss is common during lung cancer chemotherapy.
Not all chemotherapy drugs will cause hair loss. You should talk with your doctor and ask if you should expect hair loss. If so, you can be put in contact with someone who can supply you a free wig. If you do not want to wear a wige you can wear a hat or scarf. You will regrow your hair back in the months following lung cancer chemotherapy.
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