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Chemotherapy Questions

191 Question and Answer Results

  1. Do I need shingles vaccine if I had chicken pox?

    Yes, even if you haven't had chicken pox, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the shingles vaccine (Zostavax, which was approved in 2006) for all adults over age 60. Many older adults don't remember whether they've had chicken pox, but the CDC says that 99 percent of adult...
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  2. Are there white blood cells supplements to rejuvenate blood counts during chemo?

    A very common side effect of chemotherapy is low white blood cell counts. This happens because the chemotherapy drugs kill the cells in the bone marrow that produce new white blood cells. There are drugs called Neulasta and Neupogen that are very effective in boosting white blood cell production; ha...
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  3. What are the chances of chemotherapy causing a stroke?

    In my experience, chemotherapy does not typically cause ischemic (non-bleeding) strokes. In general, ischemic strokes are much more common than hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes, and are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies the brain.
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  4. Does the fact that my father has not lost his hair this time mean the cherotherapy is less effective?

    The question of hair loss and the effectiveness of chemotherapy are 2 different things. If your father is not losing his hair, it does NOT necessarily mean that the chemotherapy is any less effective than it was before.
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  5. How do you recover from chemotherapy?

    Thank you for posing this question as I think many people may experience similar situations.
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  6. How long does it take for my baby hair to fall out because of chemo?

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  7. What can help neck pain after chemo treatments?

    This kind of pain is not usually associated with chemotherapy, but my father had this as well. We found, strangely enough, that it was the positioning of the pillows in the bed (as he was receiving chemo and watching TV) that gave him cramping the next day. When we moved him to an adjustable chair, ...
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  8. Which systems in the body are affected by chemotherapy?

    There are many different drugs that fall into the category of chemotherapy medications. Since they are made from different chemicals, they can have very different and specific side effects that affect different parts of the body. A few chemotherapy drugs have a very narrow target, and affect a certa...
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  9. Where can you get cancer chemo bracelets to help with nausea?

    The drugs used for chemotherapy work by killing all fast-growing cells throughout the body, which means they damage the bone marrow cells that generate new white (and red) blood cells. You can read more about how chemotherapy affects your white cell count here. There are many important precautions t...
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  10. Chemo and Sex: Is it safe for the woman?

    Sex is safe for both the woman and man during chemotherapy, no matter whether it is the woman or man undergoing chemotherapy. Neither cancer nor cancer treatment is contagious in any way.
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  11. During chemo, some taxol went directly under my skin on the back of my hand. Can anything be done for the pain?

    Chemotherapies are generally toxic to normal human cells as well as to cancer cells and so it is not a surprise that the leak of some Taxol (paclitaxel) could cause a great deal of pain.  Paclitaxel is an irritant drug.  It will cause irritation to the skin and other tissues if it leaks. 
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  12. Why do eyelashes grow in and fall out since chemotherapy?

    Many cancer survivors report problems with eyelashes and eyebrows continuing to fall out, or growing in thinner or shorter, several years after they completed chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause long-term changes to the hair follicles, which is why the hair on your head often comes back a different...
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  13. Is it true that a woman's body changes after chemo?

    Chemotherapy is intended to be a short-term treatment, and your body should return to normal afterwards. However,  some types of chemotherapy can have long-term effects, particularly those that affect the hormonal system. Some women who take chemotherapy drugs that suppress estrogen, for example, go...
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  14. How do you get chemo chills to stop?

    Symptoms like chills, shaking and fever are the body’s way of trying to increase temperature through muscular activity. These are seen during chemotherapy and may continue for hours or even days afterwards.  Chills are particularly common with certain cancer drugs such as interferon, interleukin-2, ...
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  15. If you miss a chemotherapy appointment would a doctor give you a double treatment the next time?

    This is very unlikely. Usually, a missed dose is because the patient is not tolerating the chemotherapy well. Oncologists monitor this "toxicity" to the patient, and may reduce or hold doses, based on your current state of health and your recovery from previous doses. For example, if your white cell...
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  16. Is it safe for a chemo patient who has now grown back their hair to get a perm?

    The new hair that grows in after a round of chemotherapy is very delicate and prone to breakage, so treatments such as perms and hair dyes are not a good idea. Chemotherapy drugs affect the health of the follicles in the skin that produce the hair, so you don't want to introduce new chemicals that c...
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  17. Is there a limit of chemotherapy treatment for one patient?

    No, there are no set limits on how much chemotherapy a patient can receive. However, there are chemotherapy regimens that have been studied and proven effective using particular courses of treatment. This is why the oncologist will often talk about a certain number of "cycles" for a chemotherapy reg...
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  18. How long does nausea last after chemo? How soon does it hit?

    There isn't one answer to this question because it depends which chemotherapy drugs your patient is taking and, even more importantly, which anti-nausea medications your doctors have prescribed. In the past few years, a number of new anti-emetic (anti-nausea) drugs, such as Emend and Zofran, have b...
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  19. How long does it take for hair to return after chemo?

    The reason doctors are sometimes vague about when cancer patients can expect hair to regrow is that it depends how long you're going to have chemotherapy and the spacing of the cycles. Think of it this way: each chemotherapy treatment, or cycle, kills the fast-growing cells in the hair follicles. So...
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  20. Is it normal to be burned severely during chemo and radiation?

    This is a concern you need to discuss with your mother's doctor. Radiation burns do, regrettably, occur sometimes during radiation treatment for cancer. Sometimes doctors know in advance that this is likely, based on the location of the cancer and the type and dosage of radiation used, and plan ahea...
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