Friday, March 13, 2009

Adverse effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy leads to uncomfortable side effects for the patients. It is a "non-targeted" medicine, thought to be poisonous to all cells, in particular cells that divide frequently. Because cancer cells are abnormally fast dividing, they seem to be damaged by chemotherapy agents more so than other cells. However, as one might guess, chemotherapy will also damage regular cells that are growing, like those in the blood, in hair follicular cells, and epidermal cells in the gastrointestinal tract.

As a result, patients will suffer blood-related disorders like infections or bruising, loss of hair, and shedding of abdominal tract that leads to nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite. One course of action recommended by physicians is to periodically fast, perhaps every two or three days. Such an action seems to slow down the metabolism, thereby reducing some of the adverse effects of chemotherapy.

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