Dealing with Nausea During and After Cancer Treatment

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Dealing with Nausea During and After Cancer Treatment

dealing with nausea

According to the CDC, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and over 1.5 million people discover that they have cancer each year. This disease will undoubtedly leave patients feeling vulnerable, both physically and psychologically, so it is important that every symptom brought to the attention of the doctor is treated with the seriousness and respect it deserves. One of the most common symptoms that affect patients all across the globe is nausea. This symptom is so uncomfortable that it can sometimes cause patients to refuse treatment for their disease. Dealing with nausea can also be a very challenging process, which may require trial and error in order to discover which medication works best for the patient.

Complications in Dealing with Nausea

Different medications can successfully alleviate your symptoms, while others may not offer you any help at all. Sadly, this is because some medications may conflict with current prescriptions. It’s best to talk to a physician or healthcare provider about which medications you should be taking or even if patients want to know if any symptoms may arise from their new medication. Treating nausea is a vital step that helps improve the lives of cancer patients, so having access to this information is critical.

Why Dealing with Nausea is Important

Patients with cancer will experience a wide-variety of symptoms which cause them great discomfort and pain; nausea is one such symptom.  It is important to find a medication which effectively stops feelings of nausea because if left untreated symptoms could worsen. symptoms that can arise from nausea include:

  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting/emesis
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increased saliva
  • Fever

These symptoms will sometimes cause patients to feel like the treatment for their disease is causing more harm than good. They may begin to lose hope or feel discouraged by the treatment. This is why dealing with nausea is so important. If it is not handled correctly, patients may begin to refuse their treatment or seek alternative treatments which may be less effective in fighting cancer. However, medications that successfully treat nausea in patients will help them maintain their strength and appetite, which they will need if they are to fight the cancer cells.

What Causes Nausea

Nausea can be caused by several different factors. Two of the most common reasons are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Patients usually feel nauseous within hours of these treatments. Chemotherapy causes the patient’s body to release several types of chemicals, such as serotonin. Excess serotonin in the body can stimulate parts of the human brain that control your the bodies vomiting reflex causing patients to feel nausea. In radiation therapy, patients will be subject to large amounts of energy or radiation passing through their bodies. This treatment can be successful in destroying certain cancer cells, however, it also damages normal cells within the body. If it damages cells within the brain or the digestive system, these cells will send signals to the brain telling it that cells are being destroyed and that something is wrong. The brain will then trigger a vomiting reflex in an attempt to expel whatever is causing cells to die. This reflex is unpleasant and generally ineffective in helping patients, which is why doctors prescribe medication to prevent nausea and vomiting. Nausea can also be induced by cancer depending on the type which develops. Additionally, patients will sometimes become nauseous before treatment begins, due to anticipation and feelings of anxiety.

Medications for Patients Dealing with Nausea

Currently, there are several medications available to cancer patients who experience nausea before or after treatment. However, patients may not be able to afford these medications because they can be very expensive, especially considering patients will already be paying for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Luckily, patients who are enrolled with Advocate My Meds may be able to receive medications like Marinol, Emend, Kytril, and Aloxi for free or at a significantly reduced price. These medications are given to cancer patients in order to effectively treat nausea. For more information about our prescription assistance program, please call us at 877-596-1604.