NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Nausea and Vomiting, Version 1.2016
What are the types of nausea and vomiting?
What are the types of nausea
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation
therapy can bring on nausea and vomiting. The risk
of having these side effects depends on the specific
treatment type and area it reaches in your body. The
types of nausea and vomiting related to treatment
are called CINV (
omiting) and radiation-induced nausea and vomiting.
Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy that attacks
fast-dividing cancer cells. It can also damage normal
cells in the process. This damage to the normal cells
causes side effects. When nausea and vomiting are
caused by chemotherapy it is called CINV. The term
"induced" means "to bring on something."
The types of CINV are called acute, delayed,
anticipatory, breakthrough, and refractory.
for detailed information on the types of
Radiation-induced nausea and vomiting
Radiation therapy can be given from a machine
outside the body. This is called external beam
radiation therapy. Nausea and vomiting are more
likely to happen when radiation is used to treat the
upper abdomen or whole body. The risk for nausea
and vomiting gets higher as the doses of radiation get
larger and reach more areas of tissue in the body.
Upper abdomen radiation:
The digestive organ
that absorbs nutrients from food you eat is called
the small intestine. It has rapidly diving cells, which
makes it sensitive to a treatment like radiation
therapy. Radiation aims to kill the cancer cells that are
rapidly dividing. The radiation may reach and damage
healthy tissue, causing side effects.
Whole body radiation:
Radiation may be given
to someone who is preparing for a bone marrow
transplant. A bone marrow transplant is a cancer
treatment that destroys the soft tissue in the middle
of your bones (bone marrow) with chemotherapy
or radiation. The damaged bone marrow is then
replaced with healthy bone marrow. Side effects like
nausea and vomiting can happen during this whole
Nausea and vomiting can happen
when chemotherapy and radiation are given together.
If this happens, anti-nausea and vomiting drugs can
be given. The type, dose, and timing of these drugs
is based on how likely the chemotherapy will cause
these side effects.