Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

Tips For Taking Oral Chemo Drugs For Cancer

by Jane Ashley

Many cancer patients don’t realize many of the 400 chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs are in the form of a pill, rather than being infused via an IV. When we think of cancer treatment, we think of a chemo room and long days spent getting chemo.

Only The Patient Should Touch Their Chemo Pill

But times have been a-changing. The first oral chemotherapy pill was introduced in 1998. It is still in use today — it is the oral equivalent of Fluorouracil, usually referred to as 5-FU, a drug used in the treatment of breast, colorectal, anal,...

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Chemo in 2020 Versus 1988 - Advancements But Some Things Never Change

by GregP_WN

My history with cancer goes back to 1988 when I got a crash course in what Hodgkin's Lymphoma is. That whirlwind started fast, then slowed down to a steady speed over the next 32 years. There have been some fantastic advances in cancer treatments, chemo, and the treatment of side effects. But some things haven't changed. 

Advancements In Chemo Treatments

Chemo Delivery - When I was diagnosed in 88, there wasn't a lot of time spent on education about the whole process. They didn't tell me what to expect, how it would...

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Embarrassing Symptoms And Side Effects of Cancer And Treatments

by Jane Ashley

We’ve all learned firsthand that some of our symptoms and side effects are embarrassing. Sometimes, we don’t tell our doctors because we’re just too embarrassed.

Always Tell Your Doctor The Truth

There’s an old saying, “Always tell the truth to your doctors and your lawyer.” The reason is simple — they can’t help us if we hedge on the truth. Hiding our symptoms won’t make what’s wrong with us go away. As we have already learned, cancer doesn’t pick convenient locations.

Trust me when I tell you, “Our doctors have heard it...

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Getting Ready For Chemo - What You Need To Know

by Jane Ashley

Ask most cancer patients what they were most afraid of, and they will say, “Chemo.”

Chemo Nurses

So how do we prepare ourselves for our chemotherapy?

Step #1 -Accept That Chemotherapy is an Essential Part of Treatment

Acceptance is the first step in overcoming fear and distress. Don’t believe all of the horror stories that you’ve heard, like the one that says, “Cancer doesn’t kill — it’s the chemo.”

Chemotherapy is one of the three most common treatments for cancer , along with radiation and surgery....

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Cancer Treatment Hair Loss 101

by Jane Ashley

Many people assume that they will lose their hair if they have chemotherapy. But not everyone does. Why? Because some chemotherapy drugs don’t cause hair loss. Your oncologist will usually tell you if hair loss is an expected side effect of your chemotherapy. 

No Right Or Wrong

One of the unexpected aspects of hair loss is that you may not only lose the hair on your head, but you may lose your eyebrows, eyelashes, armpit hair, pubic hair and hair on your legs. Everyone is different — you may lose your...

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Why Does Chemo Take So Long?

by Jane Ashley

Chemotherapy is one of the most feared aspects of cancer treatment. We’re are afraid of the side effects — we are afraid that it may not work — and we don’t understand the process that occurs on “chemo day.”

Chemo Center Wait

After our first infusion, we have a new question, “Why does it take so long to get our chemotherapy?”

Many people work together to ensure that your chemotherapy session is as safe as possible. Once we understand the process, it may be easier for us to understand why our chemo may require...

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Your Sense of Taste While on Chemo

by Jane Ashley

One of the big complaints among many cancer patients on chemotherapy or having radiation therapy is that food doesn’t taste the same. Some say that food tastes “funny.” Others complain that their favorite “comfort foods” don’t taste the same. 

Brush Your Teeth

Our sense of taste recognizes sweet, sour, bitter and sweet, but cancer treatment can affect our sense of taste. Common taste changes include:

• Your favorite foods taste bland.
• Sweet, salty or bitter foods taste different.
• Everything tastes...

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Coping With Pain During and After Cancer

by Jane Ashley

All of us look forward to our treatments ending. We think that that we will have an uneventful return to normal life. But for some cancer patients, they suffer from pain after treatment as a late side-effect of their cancer treatment.

Pain

The causes of chronic pain are as varied as are the diagnoses. These are the leading causes of pain in cancer survivors.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
Pain after head and neck cancers
Post-mastectomy pain

Oncologists estimate that about one-third of...

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Why Cancer Patients Become Anemic

by Jane Ashley

What causes anemia in cancer patients? How can we fix it? Nothing is more frustrating than being told that we can’t have chemo or learn that our surgery has been postponed we are anemia.

Anemia

What is anemia? 

Anemia is a common blood disorder. It occurs when we don’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are produced in our bone marrow, and they transport hemoglobin. The hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs and delivers it throughout our body.

If our iron levels fall or if...

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Do You Hate Losing Your Hair To Cancer?

by Jane Ashley

Hair loss – it’s the side effect most commonly associated with cancer.

Chemo At10am

Why? It is the single most visible sign that the person has cancer. This side effect has a far greater emotional impact on women than men. If we see a man with a bald head, we don’t automatically assume that they have cancer – we may just think that they are “making a statement” or “being hot.” Hollywood stars rock when they shave their heads. Many women even gravitate toward a man who shaves his head.

So why is being...

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