Staying healthy while on chemotherapy
Your health and outlook can have a positive impact on how your body reacts to chemotherapy. When undergoing any kind of medical procedure, it is important to talk with your doctor and ask questions before you begin treatment.
A positive first cycle
How your chemotherapy begins can have an impact on how your body feels after ensuing rounds of chemotherapy. In studies of people undergoing chemotherapy, those who experienced little to no nausea and vomiting after the first treatment were likely to have less nausea when receiving later treatments.
Consider your basic health needs
Before you begin chemotherapy, it's a good idea to consider your other basic health needs. For example, if time permits, have your teeth cleaned before rather than while you are receiving treatment. Discuss any basic health concerns you may have with your doctor.
Eat a good, healthy diet
Chemotherapy and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) may result in loss of appetite and a change in eating habits. Not eating can lead to weight loss, weakness, and fatigue, so eating a good, healthy diet is important. To help stimulate your appetite and fight CINV, consider changing your diet.
Deal with fatigue
Fatigue—feeling tired physically, mentally, and emotionally—is a common symptom of cancer and chemotherapy. It can affect your daily routine, your personal care, and your relationships. Between 70% and 100% of people receiving chemotherapy experience fatigue. It is important to tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing fatigue.
Five tips for dealing with fatigue:
- Rest, but don't overdo it. Too much rest can make you feel more tired.
- Stay as active as you can. Regular, moderate exercise is a good way to ease fatigue.
- Ask for assistance from family and friends. Don't force yourself to do more than you can manage.
- Plan ahead. Save your energy, and schedule your activities for a time when you feel the best.
- Take naps early in the day. This will help prevent a disruption of your sleep pattern at night.
Exercising and chemotherapy
You may have heard that people receiving chemotherapy are advised to rest between sessions. That was once true, but today physicians are more likely to encourage patients to exercise regularly. Patients should consult their doctor before initiating an exercise program.
Benefits of moderate exercise
Light- to moderate-intensity walking programs and other forms of exercise help many people with cancer. The benefits of such exercise may include:
More physical energy (less fatigue)
Better outlook and sense of well-being
Improved ability to meet challenges of treatment
Better functioning in daily activities
Encourage friends and family to join your exercise program. You may get more benefits when family members are involved.
What makes good exercise?
Speak with your healthcare provider about what level of exercise may be right for you. The goal is to maintain your endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. The more you exercise, the more your ability to function may improve.
Start slowly at first. Then, over the next few weeks, increase your duration as your endurance builds. Working your heart is essential to making your exercise more effective. Even so, you should try not to overexert yourself. Monitor your heart rate, breathing, and the tiredness of your muscles. If you start to get short of breath or feel very tired, rest for a few moments.
If you exercised regularly before beginning chemotherapy, you may need to adjust the intensity and frequency of exercise during treatment.
Types of exercise
Consider exercising every day or several times a week. Forms of good exercise include walking, swimming, and yoga. Not only is walking a good form of exercise, but taking a walk before meals can help you feel hungrier.
Indication in Adults
ALOXI® injection 0.25 mg/5 mL is used in adults to help prevent nausea and vomiting on the day of chemotherapy that is highly likely to cause nausea and vomiting, and up to 5 days following chemotherapy that is moderately likely to cause nausea and vomiting.
Indication in Pediatrics
ALOXI injection 20 mcg/kg (max 1.5 mg) is used in children 1 month old to less than 17 years of age to help prevent nausea and vomiting on the day of chemotherapy that is moderately or highly likely to cause nausea and vomiting.
Important Safety Information
ALOXI can cause allergic reactions that can be serious. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: hives, swelling of the face, trouble breathing and chest pain
The most common side effects of ALOXI in adults are headache and constipation
Tell your doctor or nurse if you are taking other medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed
For more information about ALOXI, talk to your doctor or see full Prescribing Information.
ALOXI is available by prescription only.