Chemotherapy Effects in Cancer Patients
When we hear the words, cancer treatment, our minds naturally shoot straight to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used ways to treat cancer. Chemotherapy did not have original plans to treat cancer patients but it did have other plausible problems to aid. After WWII, lymphoma, a form of chemotherapy, was used to help soldiers who were harmed by mustard gas (Chemo Brain, 2012). This medical advancement continued to progress into what we now know as chemotherapy. However, no action takes precedence without effects, good or bad. Although chemotherapy is given to cancer patients in hopes of a positive outcome, chemo can have negative ...view middle of the document...
The patient with the effects are usually well aware of how different their mentality might be. This means even the most subtle effect in the patients’ brain will be highly noticeable to them (Chemo Brain, 2012).
There is a saying that says waiting hurts more, which happens to be a path patients often take. A percentage of patients with chemo brain are usually embarrassed to share the fact that they might have a common mental disability and usually refrain from telling people, including their doctors, until this disability affects their everyday life. This could lead to more effects such as, problems at home and even work (Chemo Brain, 2012). This leads to distress knowing that there is the possibility you may never be able to function normally again.
Even though researchers, doctors, and patients want to know more about chemo brain, certain aspects make brain studies highly strenuous to perform (Chemo Brain, 2012). Alot of this difficulty comes from the people trying to conduct the brain research due to not using the same testing techniques as others. When the tests are performed on patients is another key factor that does not allow for proper data to be collected. Another major benefactor as to why researches can not conduct proper studies would happen to be failing to test patients’ brains on mental activity before any treatment given (Chemo Brain).
Although chemotherapy is the main cause of chemo brain, there are other small causes that may contribute to this detrimental effect. Brain problems usually occur in most patients with cancer even without chemotherapy treatments. Some other parts that can help chemo brain form quicker or at a more serious depth would be: cancer, other drugs being used for treatment, developing sleeping problems, low blood count, infections, fatigue, any change in hormones, other illnesses the patient might have, nutritional deficiencies, the patient’s age, depression or emotional problems such as anxiety or stress (Chemo Brain, 2012). Most of these problems are short lived and will fade away as time progresses but if any of them are not treated properly, they could add to long lasting damage along with chemo brain. Chemo brain has been clearly linked to cancer and its treatment; this is leading to more research and studies as to how chemo brain can be prevented as a negative side effect to patients (Chemo Brain, 2012).
Chemotherapy does not stop there when it comes to negative side effects. It rolls into causing adult patients to have chemotherapy-induced anemia. Anemia is when red blood cell counts are very low; this is normally counteracted by having a red blood cell transfusion done (Chemo-Induced Anemia, 1999). Anemia lowers the the ability of the...