Wednesday 16 May 2018
Susan Long â€“ Maggie's
Feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) are side effects that most people associate with treatment for cancer.
This page gives tips and information on managing the symptoms during and after cancer treatment.
Feeling sick is an unpleasant feeling, and a symptom many people worry about experiencing whilst on cancer treatment. It doesnâ€™t affect everyone. There may be different levels, ranging from feeling sick to actually vomiting.
Certain chemotherapy drugs are known to cause nausea. Doctors prescribe anti-sickness medication to help prevent and ease the level of sickness you may experience. Similarly, radiotherapy, particularly when directed at the abdomen/stomach or brain, can trigger nausea in a similar way.
Other treatments, including hormone therapy, bisphosphonates, biological therapies and pain relief medications can cause mild nausea, which generally settles over time or can be managed.
There are a number of ways to manage nausea. If the chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment is known to cause nausea or vomiting, anti-sickness medication is often given during and after treatment to help prevent it. There are a range of anti-sickness (anti-emetics) medicines available.
Things to do if you are suffering with nausea and vomiting:
Things to avoid if you are suffering with nausea and vomiting:
You may be feeling isolated and low in mood - nausea is a physical reminder of everything that is going on and can be challenging to manage.
You can drop into any Maggieâ€™s centre to talk to our professional support staff about the symptoms you are experiencing and get support and advice.
Relaxation exercises can help alleviate nausea, and youâ€™ll have a chance to meet people who understand how you feel.
There are some occasions when it is important to seek medical advice - this may be through your hospital doctors, oncology team, specialist nurse or GP.
You can also help by keeping a note of your symptoms and anything that makes them better or worse, ready for discussion at your hospital/GP/specialist nurse.
Last review: Jan 2022 | Next review: Sep 2023
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