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Chemotherapy FAQs - (Page 2)

How chemotherapy is given?  

Chemotherapy can be administered during a hospital stay, day care or at home. Most chemotherapy is given intravenously. To avoid repeated infusions in the veins, you can have placed a catheter or implantable port. The chemotherapy can also be taken by mouth, arterial or intramuscular route. It depends on your state of health, the type of cancer you have or treatment requirements. 

Is chemotherapy administered continuously?  

No. The chemotherapy agents also attack healthy cells in the body; therefore, it is necessary to divide the treatment in cycles. Chemotherapy treatment usually lasts a period of 4 to 6 months with an interval of rest every 2 or 3 weeks to allow major organs, including bone marrow, to regain normal function before starting a new cycle.  

Does chemotherapy cause the same side effects in all patients? 

The side effects of chemotherapy are related to toxicity of the medications: fatigue (due to the decrease of blood cells), nausea and vomiting, inflammation of the mouth, diarrhea or constipation, hair loss. However, these effects vary from patient to patient and depend on the chemotherapy drug (s) used in the treatment.  

Is there any treatment for chemotherapy side effects?  

The majority of side effects of chemotherapy can be alleviated by appropriate treatment. In some patients, these effects disappear gradually upon discontinuation of treatment. 

Will I Be Healed After The Chemotherapy? 

Although it is not always the case, chemotherapy can lead to complete cure in some patients. Your chance to be completely recovered depends on the type of cancer you have and its stage at diagnosis; your environment, diet as well as your lifestyle also play an important role.  

Is a healthy diet important during chemotherapy? 

There is no effective treatment without a healthy and balanced diet. In addition, t reatment with chemotherapy can cause loss of appetite, altered taste, weight loss or, conversely, overweight. It is important to adopt a balanced diet that contains mostly vegetable protein , sweet potatoes for instance. 

I am under chemotherapy, should I modify my diet? 

If you have already adopted a healthy diet, it is not important to change it, unless you are having particular problems with swallowing or feeding. In the event that the chemotherapy is associated with radiotherapy of neck and mouth, and provokes swallowing problems, it is necessary to avoid certain foods: too dry foods (dry bread, cookies, French fries, and others), acidic foods (grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, pickles, lemons, and others), crunchy foods (cereals, chips, certain fruits and raw vegetables, and others), alcoholic beverages (should be complete eliminated during cancer treatment). Also avoid eating foods that are too cold or too hot. Even if you change your diet, it is essential to keep a balanced diet that provides your body all nutrients it needs. Talk to your nutritionist or dietitian for more help. 


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