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Chemotherapy patients expect side effects

Posted - Jul. 12, 2004 at 3:20 p.m.



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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jul 12, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. researchers have found patients about to undergo chemotherapy or radiation for cancer expect a high number of side effects.

The researchers, at the University of Rochester, surveyed 938 cancer patients prior to treatments. They found age, gender, educational background, and the type of cancer all influence how many side effects a patient expects.

Each patient anticipated an average of 8.7 symptoms, the researchers said, including fatigue, nausea, hair loss, skin problems, weight loss, pain and sleep problems.

Side effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy can contribute to diminished quality of life for patients at best and to treatment failures at worst. More research has found that patients who expect a side effect, such as nausea, are more likely to develop the symptom.

The researchers said the findings may help identify patients who can benefit from early side effect management and pretreatment information preparation.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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