Dealing With Chemotherapy: 6 Tips to Help You Minimise The Side-effects

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It is the unfortunate side effect of life that we not only age and grow old but that we often are faced with debilitating or painful illnesses. Dealing with a serious illness is always a heavy burden to bear, and depending on what illness you have been inflicted with, the treatment itself can be just as painful as the illness.

Cancer can be scary, but, fortunately, in today’s age, there are various treatment methods available. Unfortunately, many of these methods are no holiday and cause considerable pain and damage to healthy tissue. 

Fortunately, there are many methods to ease these side-effects. Some of them you can easily buy from your local chemist’s shop; others can be found in your cupboards. Whether you are seeking relief for yourself or for someone you love, this article will provide you with six effective ways to lessen the effects:

#1 Massage

Massage therapy has many physical and therapeutic benefits. For chemo patients, massage has been proven to help alleviate some side effects of nausea. In addition to this is it can provide stress relief if you suffer from treatment-related anxiety. Generally, a light touch or Swedish massage is best for anyone who is ill.

#2 Ginger

Ginger root has long been known to ease nausea and stomach pains in general. The natural root can be eaten raw, but be warned; it does have a short kick of heat. You can also use the spice right out of your cupboard as well. You can mix it in with some green tea, but be sure to strain it well. You can even knock out two birds with one stone and eat some sugarless ginger biscuits (a soothing treat and treatment).

#3 Acupuncture

The ancient practice of acupuncture has been used for centuries to help with a wide variety of ailments from nausea to pain to anxiety and even hot flashes. An additional benefit is that you don’t need frequent treatments to see improvements; relief from symptoms can occur after just one session.

#4 Cryotherapy

Plain and simple cryotherapy is coldness. This can greatly relieve mouth sores if you receive (5-FU) chemotherapy. Ice is an oldie but always a goodie but most cold treats will do. Ice cream, popsicles, or even ice-cold water will work. The coldness causes vasoconstriction; which is when the blood vessels “shrink”. This causes less of the chemo medication to reach the mouth.

The side effects of chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy can be almost crippling, causing a weakening of the body. This kind of long-term pain is exhausting and can be demoralising on the mind and soul. Effective relief from the grey is greatly sought after.

#5 Vitamin E (topical)

In various studies, vitamin e has been shown to help alleviate and reduce mucositis in patients with oral cancer. It has proved to be effective in reducing oral mucositis from three different chemotherapy medications. 

#6 Honey

This sweet additive has so many healing benefits. It has both natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. For chemotherapy patients, it can help to prevent loss of appetite, thus reducing treatment interruptions. It even helps to lessen oral mucositis. But be warned, studies have shown that manuka honey, specifically, can CAUSE nausea; so be sure to avoid.

The above are just a few of the possible methods for reducing chemo side effects. Hopefully, one if not all of these tips will help to alleviate and ease; and always consult your physician before you begin any new treatments as they may be possibly contraindicated. Also do not discount plain old Dramamine for nausea relief. A few honourable mentions for you: Milk Thistle (for liver inflammation) and Zinc (helps to reduce oral mucositis).