Chemotherapy can also reduce the patient’s blood count. A low blood count leading weakens the immune system and lead to potential infection.
Patients with diabetes should consult a diabetologist prior to starting chemotherapy. The chemicals may make it difficult in controlling blood sugar levels.
Chemotherapy can sometimes affect the ability of women to get pregnant and bear children. It can also affect the reproductive capacity of men. If you want children after your treatment, consult your doctor before undergoing chemotherapy. Women need to undergo what is called a Pap test before staring chemotherapy, which can cause misleading results on a later test.
You can lose all of your hair as a result of chemotherapy. Ask your doctor in advance if your hair is likely to fall off. Many people use a wig, hats or scarves during and after chemotherapy.
Certain types of chemotherapy may affect the heart. It is better to undergo a heart assessment before treatment so your health care team knows whether chemotherapy causes problems later. A common test is an echocardiogram; it creates a real-time picture of your heart with ultrasound waves.
Nausea and vomiting are common in some types of chemotherapy. Medications can help prevent these conditions in most patients.
Chemotherapy can also cause sores in the mouth and make it dry. It can also undermine your immune system to some degree. A complete dental check-up and cleaning of the mouth is recommended before you start the treatment.
Depending on physiology different patients can experience various body aches including fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, stomach pains, soreness in muscles, etc.
Chemotherapy during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby, particularly in the first three months. Hence, if there is a chance you may become pregnant, use effectual birth control. If you get pregnant even after taking preventive measures, your doctor should know immediately.