How to Deal With Chemo Side Effects

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Chemo side effects

Chemo side effects can be painful, exhausting, and generally overwhelming for people with cancer, but these tips can help ease symptoms.

If someone you love is battling cancer, they may be suffering from some unpleasant chemo side effects, and you will want to do whatever you can to help relieve these symptoms. While just being there with them to offer comfort and friendship is in itself very helpful, there are additional steps you can take.

What Can You Do to Help Ease Chemo Side Effects?

Below are some of the more prevalent problems that arise from cancer treatments, with actions you can take to help.

  • Skin Problems: Someone with cancer is at risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin issues. You can assist by encouraging the person to use sunscreen, helping to protect the afflicted areas of skin from bumps, bruises, or other trauma, and making sure the skin is kept clean and dry.
  • Stomach Upset: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea medications, avoiding greasy or spicy foods, and consuming smaller meals more often throughout the day. You can help by preparing light, healthy meals that are more tolerable for the person.
  • Hair Loss: You can encourage the person to explore wig options ahead of beginning treatment (to best match their natural hair color to the wig), if they are worried about hair loss. Hair loss can also be lessened by using baby shampoo (and washing hair less frequently), and using a soft hairbrush.
  • Depression: If you see signs of depression in the person, communicate your concern immediately to their doctor, who can review medications being taken for depressive side effects and identify the best course of action to take to help.

One of the best ways to support the person is by simply being with them. Allow the person to share their feelings, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that shows you are listening and that you care. Sometimes a simple hug or holding hands can be extremely comforting. Be ready for the person to talk about their condition if they would like, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.

Find more cancer care tips from San Diego Home Caregivers’ experts in home care assistance in San Diego, La Jolla, North County, and the surrounding communities. Learn how our in-home care services can make life easier for someone with cancer. Contact us at (619) 487-9000 any time for more information.