Chemotherapy

Natural remedies and treatments to help reduce the damaging side effects of chemotherapy.

    Chemotherapy

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    1. What is Chemotherapy?
    2. Help for Chemotherapy
    3. More Information on Chemotherapy

    What is Chemotherapy?

    Chemotherapy is defined as anti-cancer drug treatment which is used to destroy cancer cells or stop them from spreading. This treatment often causes many debilitating and unpleasant side effects, and each person who undergoes treatment reacts differently. Often some people experience many side effects while others may only experience a few. Side effects are usually only short term and tend to disappear when treatment is stopped.

    The main areas of the body that are affected during treatment include the digestive system, the lining of your mouth, hair and bone marrow. Healthy cells in these body parts are affected because they divide and grow quickly and can repair the damage caused by chemotherapy.

    Possible side effects include:

    Chemotherapy can be used to treat on its own to treat certain types of cancer but may also be given in combination with other treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, biological therapies, or hormonal therapies. The main aim of chemotherapy treatment is to stop the cancer cells dividing and reproducing.

    It may also be given after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells or to shrink and control cancer to minimize symptoms. This type of treatment generally depends on the type of cancer that you my have, where the cancer began in the body, the appearance of the cancer cells under the microscope and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

    Types of chemotherapy drugs
    • Intravenous chemotherapy (drugs are injected into a vein)
    • Oral chemotherapy (drugs are given orally in the form of tablets or capsules)
    • Intramuscular injection (drugs are injected into a muscle)
    • Subcutaneous injection (drugs are injected under the skin)
    • Intrathecal chemotherapy (drugs injected into fluid around the spine)
    • Intracavity chemotherapy (drugs are injected into certain body cavities such as bladder or pelvic cavity)
    • Chemotherapy creams (applied to certain areas of the skin)

    Treatment is given in a series of sessions which is followed by a rest period – this is known as a cycle of treatment.

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    Help for Chemotherapy

    Natural remedies

    Natural herbs and holistic treatments may also be used in combination with conventional medication to help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Herbal and homeopathic remedies have been known to support the body holistically, strengthen the immune system and regulate blood cell counts.

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    Two well known herbs such as Hypoxis Rooperi(extract of African Potato) and Mentha Piperita acts as a natural convalescent, supportive tonic and are beneficial to the immune system. Other powerful herbal ingredients such as Crataegus Oxyacanthoides, Viscum Album and Schizandra Sinesis support healthy circulation, regulate and maintain healthy energy levels, and help protect against toxins and cell damage.

    More Information on Chemotherapy

    Tips to cope with chemotherapy

    Learning to cope with and manage cancer as well as experiencing chemotherapy is not only difficult but also emotionally stressful. Follow these tips to help you deal with the side effects:

    • Eat small, well balanced meals that contain proteins and calories to help you gain weight and keep your strength up
    • Try eating foods such as soups, fruit juices, weak tea, popsicles or jelly that will not nauseate you
    • Get adequate rest – at least eight hours of sleep each night as well as short naps during the day
    • Exercise regularly by walking, cycling or doing yoga but remember not to overdo it
    • Learn to relax and do things that calms you like reading, listening to music or watching a movie
    • Use visualization, imagery and deep breathing exercises to reduce stress
    • Accept help and support from family and friends
    • Speak to someone about what you are feeling and going through – this may be a family member, friend or counselor
    • Join a support group where you can share your feelings and listen to others with the same problem

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