Innovative therapies are available to patients who are living with cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation are two of the most popular ways to target and kill cancer cells, but they can also lead to unpleasant side effects. According to the National Cancer Institute, pain and discomfort, including back pain, are among the most common byproducts of treatment and tests.
If you are going through cancer treatment, let us help you find relief from what ails you. We will explain which strategies help you to combat the most common side effects, as well as how therapies like laser therapy for back pain can make a difference in your quality of life.
When receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment, it is common to experience symptoms of acute or delayed nausea and vomiting. Some patients may also experience anticipatory nausea, especially if they have a high level of anxiety or are prone to motion sickness. These symptoms need to be controlled to prevent other health issues, including dehydration, malnutrition, and reopening of surgical wounds.
When a patient is experiencing frequent side effects, their doctor may prescribe a pharmaceutical drug. It is also possible to benefit from non-drug therapies like diet changes, acupuncture, and behavior therapy. If you have any questions about preventing or treating nausea, talk to your cancer treatment specialist. They will know the right strategies for your condition and lifestyle.
Tiredness and fatigue are other unpleasant effects that come with cancer treatment. These symptoms often occur when the therapy that is killing cancer also destroys your healthy cells. It is also possible that you will feel fatigued while your body tries to damage the repair done to body tissue. Fortunately, says the Mayo Clinic, there are ways you can cope as you recover.
First, remember to be kind to yourself. While undergoing cancer treatment, you need to rest as much as possible. Even if you are working or taking care of your family, set some time each day to relax and recharge. It is also important to save your energy for important activities and get enough sleep.
When you are feeling well, try taking a walk or doing a short yoga session. While physical activity can be challenging, it will help to prevent fatigue in the long run. Finally, call your doctor’s office if your tiredness is accompanied by confusion, dizziness, or a loss of balance. You should also tell them if your fatigue is worsening or if you are experiencing shortness of breath. These additional symptoms could be a sign of a medical problem, which should be attended to immediately.
Caring for Weight Changes
During your treatment, your doctor will pay close attention to your weight. This is because weight loss and weight gain are both typical side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. According to the American Cancer Society, weight changes occur from the use of certain medications, having a poor appetite, and experiencing frequent vomiting.
Tell your doctor if you lose more than three pounds in a week, are experiencing dizziness, or continue to lose weight without trying. Your doctor may recommend changes to your diet like drinking enough liquids, choosing high-protein snacks, and adding some high-calorie foods to your day.
If you are gaining more than five pounds in a week, noticing that your ankles are swollen, or you are feeling bloated, you should also make an appointment with your specialist. Along with evaluating your current medications and treatments, they may ask you to limit your salt intake, increase your low-calorie food choices, and increase your physical activity.
Relieving Back Pain
Some of the cancers that cause back pain include spinal tumors, lung cancer, and breast cancer. If you are not having discomfort from the illness itself, you may also be experiencing back pain as a result of diagnostic tests or your chemotherapy treatment. When seeking relief from your uncomfortable symptoms of back pain, your specialist may tell you to take over-the-counter medication or prescription pain reliever. There are also treatments and therapies you can use at home to help make you more comfortable.
A laser light therapy belt is a non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive way to relieve symptoms of lower back pain, including muscle tension and spasms. While these benefits may not be able to cure your condition, they will help you feel better while you are undergoing treatment. It can also help to prevent inflammation and intense discomfort in the future.
Laser therapy belts use an innovative therapy is known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), to help provide you with relief from shooting or stabbing pain. It can also help to reduce chronic aching, stiffness, and inflammation in your lumbar area.
Feel free to incorporate complementary therapies such as heat therapy, ice therapy, or a self-massage into your day. Since PBMT is safe to use and has no known side effects, there is no problem with adding multiple treatments to your care plan. Other ideas for relaxing your back muscles include aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation. If you have any questions about caring for your back discomfort at home, talk to your doctor at your next appointment.
Thriving During Cancer Treatment
It is not easy to go through cancer treatment. Working closely with your care team can help you to combat the illness while helping to reduce side effects. As you begin your chemotherapy or radiation, write down each symptom as you experience it. Once you identify each issue, work with your nurses and doctors to come up with a solution.
With a little effort and persistence, you can combine your in-office therapies with treatments at home to make yourself feel better. Each step you take helps you to get through each treatment session, combat cancer, and live your best life ever.