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Managing the Side Effects of Cervical Cancer Treatments

side effects of cervical cancer treatment

How Can You Ease the Side Effects of Treatments for Cervical Cancer?

Like many cancers, cervical cancer can be treated in different ways. Chemotherapy, surgical procedures, and radiation, alone or in combination, are typically invoked to help women fight cervical cancer.

Also, like many cancers, different treatments for cervical cancer can produce different side effects. Side effects often vary from patient to patient. Some women experience mild or few side effects. Other women have severe reactions, substantial side effects, and face complications.

Here, we will look at some side effects typically associated with different cervical cancer treatments and things that might ease them. Much of the information is provided by The Moffitt Cancer Center In Florida.

What Are Some Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Many women who receive a cervical cancer diagnosis must undergo chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can damage cells, which is what causes most of the anticipated side effects of chemo. Side effects can include:

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Mouth Sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased chance of infection
  • Increased chance of bruising

How Might You Ease Some Side-Effects of Chemo?

Doctors use a variety of things to try to ease some of these potential side effects of chemotherapy for cervical cancer. Some of the following might help manage chemo side effects:

  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Blood transfusion
  • Steroids
  • Sucking candies
  • Over the counter or homemade oral rinse
  • Hydration
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Medication to boost the body’s ability to fight infections

Of course, every cervical cancer patient is different. Speaking to your cancer care team is a good way to ensure you have what you need to remain as healthy as you can during and after chemotherapy treatments.

What Side Effects Can Result From Radiation?

Many women with cervical cancer must have radiation treatments in addition to or instead of other types of cancer treatments. Radiation often causes some of the following side effects:

  • Irritated skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vaginal pain or discomfort
  • Increased need to pass urine
  • Early menopause
  • Irregular periods
  • Increased chance of infection
  • Increased chance of bruising

Can You Manage the Side Effects of Radiation?

As with chemotherapy, some side effects of radiation can be managed with medications.
Doctors might prescribe anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications.

To reduce skin irritations, women might be encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Medicated lotions might also be prescribed to help with any rashes that develop. There are also lubricants and medications that can help with vaginal pain.

What Side-Effects Can Occur After Surgery to Treat Cervical Cancer?

Surgery can result in a variety of side-effects. Cervical surgery, in particular, can cause pain, cramps, and difficulty eliminating waste from the body. Women who undergo surgery to treat cervical cancer often need to limit their activities for days or weeks after.

Some women with cervical cancer also have their uterus removed as well as their cervix. If this occurs, women can expect side effects that include infertility and forced menopause.

How Can The Side Effects of Cervical Cancer Surgery Be Managed?

Doctors might utilize the following to ease some of the side effects of cervical cancer surgery:

  • Pain medications
  • Use of a catheter to drain the bladder
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Pre-surgical fertilization-preservation methods (such as egg retrieval)

Discussing the potential side-effects and implications of cervical cancer surgery with your doctor and cancer team is essential.

What Can You Do If You Know Someone Getting Treated For Cervical Cancer?

Whether you are a caregiver or friend, if you know someone undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, there are ways to help. Driving her to the hospital or to doctors’ visits, running errands, and providing emotional support are all valuable ways to ease her burden.

At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has cervical cancer or any other type of cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.

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