Most Oncology drugs act by inhibiting DNA synthesis or some other process in the cell growth cycle. Because Oncology drugs generally affect rapidly dividing cells, other non-cancerous cells will also be affected. The way in which the other cells are affected determines the side-effects of the individual drugs. Other cells affected include blood cells, which fight infection, help the blood to clot, and carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When blood cells are affected, patients are more likely to get infections, may bruise or bleed easily, and may feel unusually weak and very tired. Rapidly dividing cells in hair roots, and cells that line the digestive tract, may also be affected.
As a result, side effects may include loss of hair, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, or mouth and lip sores. Many of these side effects can now be controlled, thanks to new or improved drugs. Side effects generally are short-term and gradually go away. Hair grows back, but it may be different in color and texture.View More
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