Oct 19, 2022
Nausea is a common side effect of some cancers and cancer treatments. Nausea is feeling sick to your stomach, or feeling like you might want to throw up. This symptom can be mild or severe, and even lead to vomiting. Regardless of the severity, nausea can be very uncomfortable and can affect your health.
Unfortunately, there are certain personal factors that can make you more likely to have cancer nausea. You may be more vulnerable if you have one or more of these:
The major concern for nausea is decreased nutrition. This is because if you are feeling nauseous, your appetite might be low, or you choose not to eat anything at all in fear of worsening your symptoms or throwing up. Failing to seek treatment for nausea and vomiting can lead to serious health complications. Malnutrition is detrimental to cancer care, and health in general. It can cause weakness, weight loss, inability to fight infections, and inability to finish cancer treatments. Uncontrolled vomiting can lead to dehydration and pain. Read more about malnutrition from our blog post here.
There is no standard regimen to treat cancer nausea and chemotherapy-induced nausea. However, there are many different kinds of medications available that can help manage your symptoms:
There are many medications not mentioned. Talk to your doctor which one is right for you. Keep in mind that some of these can be taken by mouth or injected through an IV access by a healthcare provider.
Prevention is key to help with nausea. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to be taken 30 minutes to an hour before meals. However, there are ways to relieve nausea and vomiting without using medications:
Ask a dietitian for advice on the best food to eat during treatment and recovery. He or she can also recommend ways to help manage your symptoms that will best suit your lifestyle. Watch this video presentation by our registered dietitian Rachel Spencer for more information about nutritional help with nausea.
Nausea and vomiting can be caused by medical conditions unrelated to your cancer and treatments. So, it is important to contact your doctor if:
Treatments are individualized to your signs and symptoms and lifestyle. Do not let nausea ruin your road to recovery. Talk to your healthcare team today about what works best for you. Our experts at OncoPower can help you get started.