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Some Side Effects of Chemotherapy

By HERWriter
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Chemotherapy can have a variety of side effects including fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Less visible are lowered blood counts which can be monitored by checking bone marrow while on chemotherapy. Numbness and tingling, aching and stiffness, and changing nail color are all possible side effects. One side effect that usually prompts a deep emotional response is hair loss.

Dr. Marilou Terpenning is an oncologist specializing in breast cancer. She says, "The time that’s the hardest is when you are actually having the hair come out, and I warn people about that. No matter how much someone educates you, it’s hard to prepare for the feeling of what it feels like to have your hair coming out in clumps. I recommend to my patients that they might try cutting their hair shorter before they lose their hair so they can get a hairpiece that’s easier to match, but that depends upon the woman. Some women want to keep their hair long and will get a long hairpiece to replace it."


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HERWriter Guide

Just as there are many types of cancers there are many types of side effects. One of the best ways to learn how to deal with them is to talk with fellow patients and learn what solutions have worked for them. Learning from someone else can make a world of difference in getting through the rough patches, and sometimes you also get a great new friend in the process.

May 7, 2010 - 4:49pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.