Chemotherapy is a type of cancer therapy. It entails using drugs to halt or slow the growth of cancer cells that are rapidly multiplying. Your specialist uses chemotherapy drugs to target your body’s healthy, fast-growing cells. These drugs can have unfavorable consequences. Chemotherapy patients can take precautions to lessen these side effects.
This article will go over some of the things that you should avoid during chemotherapy performed. We sat down with Dr. Gaurav Gupta, who provides excellent liver cancer treatment in Mumbai, to discuss the things to do and precautions to take while receiving chemotherapy.
Dr. Gaurav Gupta is a consultant and the head of the Fortis Mulund Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery Department. He is well-known in Mumbai for performing the best liver transplants. Living donor liver transplant, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, pediatric liver transplant, and pancreas transplant are among his other surgical specialties.
What to stay away from during chemotherapy
Chemotherapy targets cancer cells that grow quickly in the body. The cells that line the intestines and mouth and the hair follicles fall into this category. Chemotherapy patients may experience side effects as a result of this.
Here are 11 things to avoid during chemotherapy to reduce side effects and ensure a successful treatment:
Foods that affect the CYP enzymes
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes help chemotherapy drugs to get metabolized and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Certain foods can inhibit chemotherapy drugs. They involve:
- Grapefruits, as well as their juice.
- Oranges from Seville, as well as their juice
- St. John’s Wort
Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, nausea, and mood swings, among other things. As a result, mentally and physically demanding activities should be avoided. These activities can include physically demanding work or exercise.
Interacting with infected individuals
Some chemotherapy treatments can make you more susceptible to infection. During chemotherapy treatment cycles, there will be times when a person’s white blood cell count is lower than usual. These cells are in charge of combating infections.
During these times, A specialist must keep a person’s risk of infection to a minimum. This risk of infection includes avoiding contact with people who may be suffering from functional issues.
You should avoid smoking during chemotherapy because tobacco and cigarette smoke can cause side effects. Smoking can cause hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, in certain parts of the body. Chemotherapy may be less effective in cancer tumors if hypoxia exists.
Cigarettes can also exacerbate chemotherapy side effects. Patients receiving chemotherapy who smoked reported more symptom burden during the treatment and at the six-month follow-up, according to a study published in 2011. Smoking can also have an impact on drug absorption. According to a 2014 study, smokers who received chemotherapy needed higher drug doses to be effective than non-smokers.
Consuming alcoholic beverages
Even in small doses, alcohol can exacerbate chemotherapy side effects like dry mouth and sore throat. Chemotherapy drugs and alcohol may interact, increasing the risk of adverse side effects. During chemotherapy, a person should avoid drinking heavily or frequently.
Food that is undercooked or raw
Infection-causing germs can be present in undercooked and raw foods. Chemotherapy may make it more difficult to fight infections because cancer and chemotherapy weaken the immune system.
The following are some examples of raw or undercooked foods to avoid:
- Raw fish or shellfish like Sushi and oysters.
- Raw nuts
- Blue cheese and other moldy cheeses
- Eggs, raw or softly cooked
- Food obtained from bulk bins
- Salad dressings and fresh salsas
- Raw honey
Acidic and spicy food
Chemotherapy can leave you with mouth sores. In addition to cancer cells, the treatment affects rapidly-growing cells in the mouth and lips lining. When your mouth is sore, it’s best to stay away from spicy and acidic foods. Curries are one of them.
- Peppers chiles
- Hot sauces
Food that is difficult to digest
Chemotherapy patients with mouth sores should avoid hard, sharp foods that are difficult to chew and swallow and cause more pain in the mouth. These are some of them:
- Cookies and biscuits
- Chips made of potatoes
Supplements and vitamins
Experts based the effectiveness of vitamins and herbal supplements in the treatment of cancer on limited clinical evidence.
Some vitamins, on the other hand, may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment. Experts linked taking vitamins like A, C, and B12 during chemotherapy to significantly worse outcomes, according to a 2019 study looking into breast cancer treatments.
UV (Ultraviolet) Light
Dry, itchy, red, and peeling skin are some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can make a person’s skin more sensitive to sunlight, resulting in minor rashes.
A person undergoing chemotherapy should avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and tanning beds for these reasons.
Probiotics are bacteria and yeast supplements that contain live bacteria and yeast. These bacteria may help with digestion and bowel function as well as fighting harmful bacteria. Due to their weakened immune system, a person undergoing chemotherapy should avoid probiotics. It includes:
- Cottage cheese
- Capsules, pills, and powders containing probiotics
What to do and what precautions to take while receiving chemotherapy
There are also things a person can do while undergoing chemotherapy to help mitigate the treatment’s side effects. Options for reducing fatigue, which is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, is to:
- Allowing them to be driven to and from their chemotherapy appointments
- Requesting a reduction in work hours
- Organizing child care for a chemotherapy appointment on the day of and the day after
- Allowing for rest on the day of and after a chemotherapy appointment
Washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, especially after using the bathroom and before and after eating, can help to reduce the risk of infection during chemotherapy.
Carrying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer bottle. Avoid large crowds and, if necessary, wear a mask. Loss of appetite and sensitivity to certain foods and drinks are common side effects of chemotherapy. To reduce the severity of these side effects, one can take the following precautions:
- Scrubbing and washing all raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly
- To avoid dehydration, drink at least 8-12 cups of liquid per day
- Staying active by taking short walks every day may increase appetite
- To stay strong, focus on eating a lot of protein and calories
- Before and after each use, wash all kitchen utensils and countertops
- Getting all of the food to a safe temperature
- Rather than three large meals a day, eat a greater number of smaller meals.
Find here – Chemotherapy in Mumbai