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SIDE EFFECTS AND SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT /// CHAPTER 39
Strength
Changes
What Changes and Why?
As you go through treatment, you will likely experience a loss of muscle strength.
Many factors come together to cause this change including:
» Decreased physical activity
» Changes in appetite and diet
» Changes in your body due to the cancer itself
» Medications like steroids that can affect your muscle strength
» Side effects including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that reduce your body's
ability to absorb nutrients necessary to maintain your muscle health.
What are the impacts of loss of muscle mass?
» Loss of strength
» Potential for increased side effects from chemotherapy due to changes in your
body's metabolism.
» Decreased ability to tolerate cancer treatment
What can I do to stay strong?
» Stay active during treatment. There are an increasing number of studies proving
that cancer patients who exercise during cancer treatment have better outcomes.
Consider exercise another prescribed treatment just like chemotherapy!
» Work with the dietitians on your team to design a diet that is well-balanced.
» Talk to your doctor about any problems you have with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. There are medications that can
decrease these side effects.
When should I call the doctor?
» If you experience any sudden changes in strength such as an inability to stand or walk: this could be a rare but serious
complication that requires urgent medical care.
» If you have vomiting or diarrhea or changes in appetite seem to be making you lose or gain too much weight.
» If you have persistent decrease in strength over time. They may help connect you to a physical therapist.
" As a former athlete,
when I lost a lot of
strength during my
treatment, I kept a
mindset that I have
to push myself to do
PT or simple day-today
tasks to keep up
my strength. "
- Tyler Barnard
https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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