- Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families
- Learning about chemotherapy treatment
- A checklist of questions to ask your doctor or nurse
- Should I get a second opinion?
- Where will I get chemo?
- How will the chemo be given to me?
- What are clinical trials?
- Can I take other medicines while I am getting chemo?
- How will I know if the chemo is working?
- How do I give my permission for this treatment?
- Chemo safety
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Chemo side effects
- What are common side effects?
- Hair loss
- Increased chance of bruising, bleeding, and infection
- Nausea and vomiting
- Other chemo side effects and tips to manage them
- Mouth, gum, and throat problems
- Nerve and muscle problems
- Skin and nail changes
- Urine changes and bladder and kidney problems
- Weight gain
- Other questions you may have
- When to call your doctor
- Sex, fertility, and chemo
- Thoughts, emotions, and chemo
- Paying for chemo treatment
- More information from your American Cancer Society
Some people, usually women, put on weight during chemo. We aren’t sure why this happens.
Whether you gain weight or not, good nutrition is very important during treatment. People who eat well cope with side effects better and are better able to fight infection. Their bodies can also rebuild healthy tissues faster.
Eating well during chemo means choosing a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients your body needs. You should include foods from each of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables; poultry, fish, and meat; cereals and breads; and dairy products. You also should take in enough calories to keep your weight up and, most importantly, enough protein to build and repair skin, hair, muscles, and organs.
You also may need to drink extra fluid to protect your bladder and kidneys during your treatment.
To learn more, please see Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment: A Guide for Patients and Families and Nutrition and Physical Activity During and After Cancer Treatment: Answers to Common Questions. Both can be read online or call us for free copies.
Last Medical Review: 03/07/2013
Last Revised: 03/07/2013