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Helpful Chemotherapy Links

General:

  • American Cancer Society
    For 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Together with millions of our supporters worldwide, we're helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures, and fighting back against cancer.
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:58 AM

  • Compassion and Support at the end of life
    Increasing the acceptance of Advance Directives in our community by: a) Increasing the percentage of individuals that understand, complete, and use Advance Directives. b) Ensuring acceptance of the completed Advance Directives by health care professionals. 2) Promoting earlier hospice referrals for terminally ill patients so those social, spiritual, and psychological components of suffering can be properly addressed. 3) Establishing comprehensive pain assessment and treatment standards at all facilities. 4) Encouraging health care institutions to set performance goals as well as track basic statistics regarding end-of-life care.
    Posted August 30, 2013 at 2:51 PM

  • Understand life support or life-sustaining treatment
    When making decisions about specific forms of life-sustaining treatment, gather the facts you need to make sound informed decisions. In particular, understand the benefit as well as the burdens that the treatment will offer you or your loved one
    Posted August 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

  • Treating Nausea and Vomiting From Chemotherapy

    It's common to feel sick to your stomach (nauseated) or to vomit when you get chemotherapy. Nausea and vomiting are caused by cancer drugs you may get during treatment. You may feel sick or vomit soon after your treatment session. But with some chemotherapy medicines, you may not get sick until days later. Some people have only nausea or only vomiting. Others have both. Some people don't get sick at all from chemotherapy.

    There are many drugs that can prevent nausea and vomiting. Preventing nausea and vomiting will help calm your stomach so you can eat, stay strong, and give your body a chance to rest between cancer treatments.

    Antinausea drugs work best if you start taking them before you start chemotherapy.

    What causes nausea and vomiting?

    Doctors believe that some drugs can affect the nervous system or irritate your stomach lining and make you feel sick. This may cause nausea and vomiting.

    How big a dose you get can also affect how you feel. A drug may be fine at a low dose. At a higher dose, it may make you sick. But that higher dose may be what's needed to kill cancer cells.

    The way you receive a drug can also make a difference. A drug that is given through your vein in an IV may make you feel sick sooner than the same drug given as a pill. That's because your body will absorb the IV drug faster.

    What will increase your risk for nausea and vomiting?

    There are more than 100 different drugs to treat cancer. Some are much more likely to cause nausea and vomiting than others. You and your doctor will decide which cancer drugs you will get based on the type of cancer you have, where the cancer is in your body, and how serious the cancer is (its stage).

    Other things besides cancer drugs can raise your risk for nausea and vomiting. If you had chemotherapy before and it led to vomiting, your brain will remember it. So just thinking about your cancer treatment can make you feel sick. This is called anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Antinausea medicines may not work well for anticipatory nausea or vomiting, but other methods that relax or distract you may help. These methods include progressive muscle relaxation, hypnosis, acupuncture, or distraction with music or video or mobile games.

    How are nausea and vomiting treated?

    The goal of treatment is to prevent nausea and vomiting. Your doctor will look at which cancer drugs you are taking and your history of getting sick. You will probably be given a medicine that works to control nausea and vomiting in other people who are getting the same cancer treatment. You may be given two or three medicines to take.

    Antinausea medicines are usually taken as pills. But you might also get them through an IV or as a patch that's taped to your skin. These medicines are usually given before your first chemotherapy session. You will need to take antinausea medicine as long as your cancer treatments last.

    Some of the most common medicines used to control nausea and vomiting include:

  • Dopamine antagonists, such as metoclopramide and phenothiazines.
  • Serotonin antagonists, such as granisetron, ondansetron, and palonosetron.
  • Other antagonists. These include: 
    • Aprepitant.
    • Olanzapine.
  • Corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone and methylprednisolone.
  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, lorazepam, and midazolam.