Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer. It is a process where the drugs kill all those cells that multiply by nature and are the root cause for the growth of cancer.
The main disadvantage of chemotherapy is that it kills the good cells also and this damage to normal cells causes side effects. The cells in the bone marrow, hair follicles and digestive tract divide very fast and they are destroyed by the drugs used in chemotherapy.
The dosage of chemotherapy also needs to be administered correctly.
The low dose will be ineffective towards tumor and high dose would increase toxicity in the body which is intolerable by the patient.
Usually, the patient recovers after the chemotherapy is over but in some cases, the chemotherapy can cause permanent changes or damage to the parts of the organs. Following are some of the side effects of chemotherapy for kidney cancer.
Depression of the Immune System
This is the most commonly noticed side effect. The immune system of the patient is hit hard and that is the reason that the patient needs will power to sustain their suffering.
The loss of immune system leads to fatal infection potentially. 85% of the infections are caused due to micro organisms occurred in the patient naturally.
This treatment makes you really weak which will lead to fatigue and is the common symptom that is reported by cancer patients.
Since the blood cells and circulation are affected the energy levels of the patients go down.
It affects the patient due to the low blood counts, lack of sleep, pain, poor appetite and many other factors. Anemia in such patients can be treated by blood transfusion, iron supplements and hormones to increase blood production.
Low Platelet Count
The patients are also prone to bleeding easily. The medication which kills the dividing cells or the blood cells also kills the platelets in the blood. This results to bruises and bleeding.
It includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Nausea and vomiting are the common side effects of chemotherapy. There is also the chance of malnutrition and dehydration if the patient does not take the required amount of food and water.
Dehydration also caused due to excess vomiting. The gastrointestinal system is affected in a huge way.
The hair follicles contain cells that are destroyed due to chemotherapy which results in tremendous amount of hair loss. Other type of medications cause thinning of hair, but this is a temporary affect. The hair grows back usually after the treatments are over.
Organ Specific Damage
Chemotherapy can cause damage to specific organs. It causes heart damage, liver damage, inner ear damage, kidney damage and brain dysfunction.
Although, there are numerous side effects of chemotherapy, a cancer patient can hardly go without it if the stage is in advance. However, there are some natural ways of coping with such side effects. Above all, mental strength and support is essential for the well-being of cancer patients.