Researchers have found that there are distinctions among cancer cells and other healthy cells around them in terms of growth and propagation. This has resulted in the development of medicines that “target” these differences – commonly referred to as “targeted therapy” (Read more about targeted therapy at Targeted Cancer Cell Therapy).
Technically, Targeted Therapies are considered “chemotherapy” because it also uses drugs to kill cancer cells. However, targeted drugs work in a way where it goes after cancer cells, leaving most of the healthy cells behind. This treatment can be used alone but is usually partnered with other cancer treatments. With its unique way of fighting cancer, its side effects are also different from standard chemo drugs.
Serious Side Effects of Targeted Therapy
Side effects of Targeted Therapy may not occur to all who have undergone this treatment. The severity of the effects may also depend on the specific drug/s used. Most side effects disappear after the therapy or when the patient recovers from it. However, other side effects may take a longer time to disappear – especially with cancer treatments — and some linger with a huge effect on the body’s overall function. Some of these side effects include:
High Blood Pressure
Sometimes, high blood pressure occurs because of targeted therapy. Some targeted drugs raise one’s blood pressure, especially those called angiogenesis. Consequently, the individual needs to take other medicines to bring his blood pressure down to normal or safe levels while on the treatment. Nonetheless, maintaining a normal blood pressure can be best achieved through a diet with fruits and vegetables, and consumption of low-fat dairy products. Having regular physical activities can also help in stabilizing one’s blood pressure.
Blood Clotting Problems and Slow Blood Healing
Some targeted therapy drugs interfere with the growth of new blood vessels, which can consequently lead to problems in bruising, bleeding, and wound healing. Stomach or intestinal bleeding may occur, indicating that the cancer may be severe and may be life-threatening. Signs of bleeding may include (1) an actual vomit with blood or substance which looks similar to coffee grounds, or (2) a change in stool color (can be dark, black, or bright red). It is important to have a check-up when you experience these symptoms.
Other targeted drugs may also cause blood clots in the lungs and legs, heart attacks, or stroke. Signs that you may have these complications include sudden swelling, pain, or tenderness in the arm or leg; chest pain, sudden shortness of breath, vision problems, weakness, seizures, or speech problems. If you are experiencing any of these, you need to get to a hospital or a clinic fast. Because these problems are not common and unpreventable sometimes.
Some targeted drugs can also slow down the healing process which may cause old wounds to open up or new wounds which are unable to close. It can also lead to many serious wounds like holes in the stomach or intestines called perforations.
It’s a safety reminder to test the overall health of your heart before starting a treatment. Targeted therapy when combined with certain chemo drugs may lead to heart damage or further heart damage; one must be vigilant when administering the drug to someone. Symptoms may include chest pain, breathing problems (particularly at night), dizziness, rapid weight gain, fainting, or ankle or leg swelling.
Certain targeted drugs work by taking control of the immune system and making it attack healthy parts of the body. This can lead to further complications in the lungs, intestines, liver, skin, eyes, nerves, hormone-producing glands, or other organs.
Whether these side effects be in short or longer terms, its consequences to one’s body brings a vast change to the quality of life one can have. Moreover, it can just add up to the pain the patient is already experiencing which can further worsen his/her condition. If you are having doubts as to what treatment you would want to adapt, we might be able to help you be enlightened. Just visit us at http://drfarrahcancercenter.com/ or join in the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/DrFarrahBunch/ for more information about all-natural treatments for cancer.