Chemotherapy drugs can cause different side effects. The degree of side effects is also different depending on the type of drug, the length of time used, and the patient’s physical condition. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and hair loss, reduced white blood cell count, and liver dysfunction.
General chemotherapeutic drugs act on cells that actively divide, and therefore have an effect on proliferating cancer cells. However, chemotherapeutic drugs also affect normal cells that divide rapidly, such as bone marrow cells, hair cells, gastrointestinal mucosa cells, and germ cells. Because of this, cancer patients have side effects such as leukopenia or platelet drop, hair loss, and diarrhea.
Hair loss usually begins within two to three weeks after beginning chemotherapy treatments. Hair starts growing back in two to three months after the chemo is finished.
For some people who experience nausea, vomiting may last for about two hours after each treatment or can linger for days, depending on how strong the drugs being used are.
Fatigue usually begins following the first week or two of chemotherapy. There are many causes of fatigue, such as emotional stress, the chemo drugs, a low blood cell count, and dehydration. Most patients return to their previous energy levels within six months following treatment.
Skin and nail changes
Your skin may darken, peel and itch during and after chemotherapy treatment. Sun sensitivity will also increase during the regimen. Some drugs can cause your nails to darken and crack, with hurt and red cuticles. Most skin reactions occur within two to three weeks of initiation of chemotherapy and resolve 10 to 12 weeks after stopping treatment.
Constipation or diarrhea
Some chemotherapy drugs, pain medicines and anti-nausea drugs can result in constipation or diarrhea. Contact your doctor if you have not had a bowel movement in three days, have fever, pain in the stomach or if your stomach is swollen or feels hard to the touch.
If you are looking for some natural health food/supplement that can help alleviate some of the side effects caused by chemotherapy, you can look up natural sugar Fucoidan powered with AHCC (a compound extracted from shiitake mushroom).
Fucoidan is the most nutritious part of brown seaweeds, and is well-known for not only its immune-boosting properties, but also its suppressive effects on cancer cell growth.
AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is very popular in Japan as an effective natural supplement in treating liver related diseases, especially liver dysfunction caused by chemotherapy. It also acts as a strong immune booster for the body.
The mixture formula of Fucoidan and AHCC is the best unprecedented supplement combination that is expected to demonstrate powerful synergistic effect. Usually after 2-4 weeks of use, patients will notice some improvements, such as reduced pain, increased appetite, improvement of mental strength, improvement of sleep quality, etc.
Read more about Fucoidan in the blog posts here: