NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 65

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
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Part 6: Coping with side effects
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When dealing with treatment side effects, don’t be afraid to reach out to the
unofficial members of your team—family and friends who want to lend a hand.
If someone wants to pick up your groceries (or your homework, or your kids)
when fatigue makes it hard to do much of anything, let them. If someone wants
to make you a batch of homemade chicken soup or ginger cookies, let them. If
someone wants to give you a lift to yoga class, let them. After all, you’d do the
same if your positions were reversed.
What you can do: Specifics
There are some side effects that occur with many different types of cancer
treatment. Although an exhaustive review is beyond the scope of this booklet, the
following pages offer tips for coping with some of the most common side effects.
Nausea and vomiting
Why it happens
The nausea and vomiting you may experience during cancer treatment have
more to do with your brain than with your stomach. Cancer treatment can
stimulate a section of the brain called the CTZ (
which helps the body recognize and get rid of toxic or dangerous substances.
(If you’ve ever had food poisoning or felt queasy at the sight of something
disgusting, you’ve experienced the CTZ in action.) Since most cancer
treatments are toxic, they tend to trigger the CTZ.
What you can do
The cardinal rule of dealing with treatment-induced nausea is to stay ahead
of it. It’s a lot easier to prevent vomiting than it is to stop vomiting once you’ve
started. So be sure to let your treatment team know if you experience nausea
or vomiting, including during the hours before treatment—a condition known as
anticipatory nausea.
Complementary therapy:
Treatments given along
with standard treatment
The use
of hypnosis to put patients
into a trance-like state of
deep relaxation during
which they are more
accepting of suggestions
Integrative medicine:
Combining standard
treatment with
complementary therapies
that have been shown to be
safe and effective
Side effect:
An unplanned
physical or emotional
response to treatment
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