Cervical Cancer and Chemotherapy
Often prescribed in isolation, many medical therapies used to treat cervical (and other forms) of cancer can benefit from being used alongside dietary, herbal and body and mind treatments as well. Specifically, visualization can be a great treatment to use alongside of chemotherapy, as the patient actually visualizes the the treatment as killing off harmful cancer cells.
Check out the cervical cancer treatment page to see all the possible treatments for cervical cancer.
Effect of Chemotherapy on Cervical Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of toxic drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given in many forms including: pill, injection, and via a catheter. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body. It kills mostly cancer cells, but also some healthy cells. Chemotherapy alone rarely cures cervical cancer. It may be used in addition to surgery and/or radiation.
This therapy may also be used to help control pain and bleeding when a cure is no longer possible.
Chemotherapy is usually combined with radiation therapy.
Side Effects and Warnings
Many types of chemotherapy drugs not only damage the cancer cells but can also damage some of your normal cells. This can create side effects. Side effects will vary between chemotherapy treatments. Your doctor will review a list of possible complications for your treatment type. Some side effects of chemotherapy include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Appetite loss
- Hair loss
- Low red blood cell count ( Anemia )
- Weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to infection
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Persistent numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and/or feet, or weakness due to nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Damage to the heart muscle
- Cessation of the menstrual period
You and your doctor will talk about options to help relieve some of these effects.
#Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Sores in your mouth, throat, or lips
- White patches in your mouth
- Difficulty/pain with swallowing
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Vomiting that prevents you from holding down fluids
- Blood in your vomit
- Easy bruising
- Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, new vaginal bleeding
- Blood in your urine or stool
- Burning or frequency of urination
- Cough, trouble breathing, or chest pain
- Severe weakness
- Shortness of breath or cough
- Calf pain, swelling, or redness in the legs or feet (which could signify a blood clot)
- Abnormal vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
- New or uncontrollable pain
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your extremities
- Joint pain, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or a "pimple" at the site of your IV
- Headache, stiff neck
- Hearing or vision changes
- Ringing in your ears
- Exposure to someone with an infectious illness, including chickenpox
- Weight gain or loss of 10 pounds or more
In case of an emergency, call 911.