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What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy (also called chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. It can also harm healthy cells that divide quickly, such as those that line your mouth and intestines or cause your hair to grow.
How often will I receive chemotherapy?
Treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely. How often and how long you get chemotherapy depends on your type of cancer and how advanced it is, the goals of treatment, the type of chemotherapy, and how your body reacts to chemotherapy. You may receive chemotherapy in cycles, which is a period of chemotherapy treatment followed by a period of rest.
Will I get side effects from chemotherapy?
You may have a lot of side effects, some, or none at all. This depends on the type and amount of chemotherapy you get and how your body reacts. Before you start chemotherapy, talk with your doctor or nurse about which side effects to expect.
What should I not do during chemotherapy?
Stay away from strong smelling foods to avoid aggravating any disorders of taste. Avoid fatty fried, spicy and overly sweet foods, as they may induce nausea. Avoid refined sugars (including raw, brown and palm sugar) as well as refined carbohydrates as most tumors prefer glucose as a source of energy.
How soon do I lose my hair with chemo?
Hair usually begins falling out two to four weeks after you start treatment. It could fall out very quickly in clumps or gradually. You’ll likely notice accumulations of loose hair on your pillow, in your hairbrush or comb, or in your sink or shower drain. Your scalp may feel tender.