Tips for Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatments

If someone you love is battling cancer, they may be experiencing a number of distressing side effects of cancer treatments they are receiving, and you will want to do whatever you can to help alleviate these symptoms. While just being there with them to offer comfort and friendship is in itself extremely helpful, there are further steps you can take.  

What Can You Do to Help Ease the Side Effects of Cancer Treatments? 

Following are some of the more prevalent complications that arise from cancer treatments, with steps you can take to help. 

  • Hair Loss: You can encourage the person to explore wig options ahead of beginning treatment (to best match their natural hair color to the wig), if they are concerned about hair loss. Hair loss can also be minimized by using baby shampoo (and washing hair less frequently), and using a soft hairbrush.  
  • Depression: If you pick up on signs of depression in the person, share your concern immediately with their doctor, who can review medications being taken for depressive side effects and decide on the best course of action to take to help. 
  • Skin Problems: Someone with cancer is at risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin issues. You can assist by encouraging the person to use sunscreen, helping to protect the impacted areas of skin from bumps, bruises, or other trauma, and making sure the skin is always clean and dry. 
  • Stomach Upset: Nausea and vomiting are typical side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea medications, avoiding greasy or spicy foods, and eating smaller meals more often throughout the day. You can help by preparing light, nutritious meals that are more tolerable for the person. 

One of the best ways to help the person is by simply being there. Allow the person to share their feelings, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that shows you are listening and that you care. Sometimes a simple hug or holding hands can be extremely comforting. Be ready for the person to talk about their cancer if they would like, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.  

Find more cancer care tips from Carolina Hearts Home Care’s experts in home care. Serving Laurinburg, Rockingham, Raeford, and the surrounding areas, learn how our home care services can make life more comfortable for someone with cancer. You can reach us at 1-855-277-2005 or contact us online any time for more information.