Managing side effects
The side effects of breast cancer treatment can be serious. Healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep and exercise may help control your symptoms. Your doctor may also give you medicines to help you with certain side effects, such as medicines to control and prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Reference Home treatment for fatigue includes learning how to manage when you feel a tiredness that doesn't go away with rest or sleep. For example, if taking a shower is a priority, and mornings are when you have the most energy, plan to take your shower at that time.
- Reference Home treatment for nausea or vomiting includes watching for and treating early signs of dehydration, such as having a dry mouth or feeling lightheaded when you stand up. Eating smaller meals may help. So can a little bit of ginger candy or ginger tea.
- Reference Home treatment for diarrhea includes resting your stomach and being alert for signs of dehydration. Check with your doctor before using any nonprescription medicines for your diarrhea. Be sure to drink enough fluids.
- Reference Home treatment for constipation includes making sure that you drink enough fluids and eat fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet each day. Do not use a laxative without first talking to your doctor.
Other problems that can be treated at home include:
- Sleep problems. If you have trouble sleeping, Reference managing sleep problems may help. This includes establishing a sleep routine and making your bedroom a restful place.
- Reference Hair loss may be unavoidable. But you can decrease irritation of your scalp by using mild shampoos and avoiding damaging hair products.
- Stress. Cancer and its treatment can be stressful. But there are many steps you can take to Reference manage stress, from learning specific relaxation skills to finding ways to express yourself..
- Pain. Not all forms of cancer or cancer treatment cause pain. But if you do have pain, there are many Reference home treatments that can help, such as over-the-counter medicines and using ice and heat.
- Lymphedema, which is swelling of the arm. You can reduce your risk for lymphedema by protecting your arm on the side where you had surgery and letting your doctor know right away if you have swelling or redness in that arm.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Catherine D. Serio, PhD - Behavioral Health