Treatment Side Effects

Mesothelioma Treatments come in all shapes and sizes, from relatively minor surgeries and low-dose radiation sessions to radical operations, high-dose radiotherapy and combination chemotherapy regimens.By knowing what to expect from your mesothelioma treatments, it’s often easier to deal with them.

Here are some common side effects you may experience, as well as techniques that can lessen their severity:

  • Fatigue: Nearly every treatment for mesothelioma results in fatigue – often a bone-tired exhaustion. Of all the side effects that come with cancer treatments, this one is probably the most unavoidable. Dealing with fatigue often means getting rest. Your body knows what you need. Once you’ve recovered from a treatment, an activity that will help is getting exercise. However, you need to start small. Usually, a good exercise regimen will begin with a short walk or two each day. Only after a few months will you be able to handle more. For safety, consider exercising with a friend.
  • Nausea: Often caused by chemotherapy, post-treatment nausea can be surprisingly intense. To relieve the worst of it, you doctor will probably put you on a prescription antiemetic. As a basic rule, the best way to push through days of nausea is to try to eat and drink during quiet periods. It will help you keep your strength up.
  • Hair loss: Chemotherapy attacks fast-growing cells in the body, which means your hair follicles will likely get caught in the crossfire. Fingernails are also susceptible and they may become brittle for a while. To deal with hair loss, try cutting it short ahead of time or buying a wig. Wearing sunscreen, a hat or a scarf will protect your scalp until your hair grows back, which usually happens after two or three months.
  • Skin damage: Radiation therapy may leave the skin of your chest with uncomfortable damage, similar to a sunburn. Treat it as you would any sun damage: be gentle with the skin, moisturize it and keep it covered until it heals.