Cancer Treatment: Here's How You Can Deal With Hair Loss And Other Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

Cancer treatment and diagnosis are both traumatic for cancer patient and his/her family. However, side effects of chemotherapy like hair loss and weakened immunity are even more difficult to deal with. Here are some home remedies that can help.



  1. Chemotherapy can lead to neuropathy
  2. It can also lead to digestion issues like constipation and nausea
  3. Cancer treatment can make the patient experience breathing problems

The very diagnosis of cancer is a traumatic experience for the patient and family. And what's worse is the side effects associated with cancer treatment and chemotherapy. Hair loss is one of the most common side effect of chemotherapy. Other side effects include a weak immune system and loss of appetite. Majority of cancer patients experience baldness after chemotherapy. However, a new research comes with a slight ray of hope for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Published in the Skin Therapy Letter, the study has found the mechanism behind chemo drugs and hair fall. While it is commonly believed that hair lost during chemo maybe grown back after treatment, it may not be true with everyone.

Hair loss and other side effects of chemotherapy 

Drugs used as part of cancer treatment may be so strong that they may cause permanent hair loss in some cancer patients - whose body is not able to endure those drugs.

Researchers from University of Manchester's Centre for Dermatology Research mention that taxane - a class of chemotherapy drug - works by stopping tumour cells from dividing. This drug is said to negatively affect hair follicles and stem cells - which leads to damage to hair follicles and lead to hair fall.

In order to see if any alteration in chemo drugs could help avoid the condition, researchers chose CDK4/6-a newer class of drugs for chemotherapy. Properties of these inhibitors were exploited and bathed with human scalp hair follicles. The follicles cultures notably in the laboratory, reports ANI.


Hair loss is the most common side effect of chemotherapy
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: This Is How Much Chemo A Person Needs In The Early Stages Of Cancer

Following are other side effects of cancer treatment that you must take note of

Drugs used for cancer treatment do kill cancer cells, but they also end up killing some healthy cells surrounding them. This weakens the body's immune system and makes you more prone to falling sick and catching diseases.

Following are the foods you should eat daily post cancer treatment to boost your immunity:

  • Yogurt
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Red bell peppers
  • Ginger
  • Citrus fruits
  • Turmeric
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Eggs
  • Fruits and fruit juices
  • Fresh seasonal vegetables
  • Avoid consumption of processed, packaged and junk food post chemotherapy.

Leafy green veggies can boost immunity in cancer patients after chemotherapy
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Alkalise The Body With This Free Of Cost Method And Experience Its Digestion, Cancer Treatment Benefits

1. Neuropathy

Cancer treatment side effect can also cause neuropathy - a condition in which nerves outside brain and spinal cord get damaged. It can cause muscle weakness, lack of coordination, heat intolerance, change in blood pressure and tingling sensation. Pain relievers, anti-seizure medication, essential oil massages and acupuncture can help in dealing with neuropathy post cancer treatment.

2. Constipation

Chemotherapy drugs can cause damage to the cells that manage digestion and cause issues like constipation, diarrhoea and nausea. You need to change your eating habits in order to prevent constipation and digestion issues after chemotherapy. Avoid spicy foods, coffee and fried foods - foods that can irritate your stomach. Include more fibre-rich foods in your diet like fruits and vegetables. Magnesium-rich foods like avocado, banana, chickpeas ans green leafy vegetables can also help. Drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration and constipation.

Also read: Lung Cancer: You Must Know The Early Signs And Symptoms, Top Risk Factors To Catch It Early

3. Breathing problems

Chemotherapy drugs can damage lungs of cancer patients. It makes it difficult for the lungs to inhale oxygen. Do some breathing exercises daily if you are experiencing breathing problems after cancer treatment. Sleep with your upper body elevated.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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