Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer: Simple Interventions To Minimize Side Effects

Posted on: 30 November 2021

Breast cancer treatment often includes chemotherapy to destroy cancerous cells within the breast. It is often used in conjunction with other breast cancer treatments including radiation and surgery. Furthermore, it can increase your chance for a complete cure and lower your risk for recurrence. While the benefits of chemotherapy in the management of breast cancer are many, this treatment option may cause side effects. Fortunately, the following simple interventions can help minimize these effects and enhance the quality of your life during your treatment.


One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. This happens because the chemotherapeutic agents are unable to differentiate between malignant cells and healthy cells, and as a result, some of the healthy cells in your gastrointestinal tract may be destroyed during your chemotherapy treatments. Ginger supplements can be used as a standalone treatment, or they can be used in conjunction with your prescription anti-nausea medication.

Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory properties and may ease the irritation in your gastrointestinal tract, resulting in less nausea and vomiting. Some patients prefer drinking soothing ginger tea instead of taking ginger supplements. You can purchase ginger tea at your grocery store or make it yourself, using a pinch of sliced raw ginger added to a cup of green tea. It is important to note that before taking any supplements, you should get clearance from your oncologist. 

Get Plenty Of Exercise

In some people, chemotherapy can induce fatigue, weakness, anxiety, and depression, especially if they have frequent bouts of nausea and vomiting. While you are receiving chemotherapy for your breast cancer, it is essential that you get plenty of exercise. You do not have to over-exert yourself, but even a leisurely walk can help keep you strong while enhancing cellular function.

Exercise can raise energy levels and may help promote good quality sleep. In addition, it can help promote the release of certain neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.  Also known as "feel-good hormones" and "happy hormones," these neurotransmitters help stimulate feelings of well-being, and they may decrease your perception of pain and other unpleasant sensations, such as nausea and vomiting. If you will be starting a new exercise regimen during your chemotherapy treatments, discuss it with your physician. 

Consider the above interventions to help minimize the side effects of your chemotherapy treatments. Once you have completed your breast cancer treatment, your prognosis is more likely to be an excellent one.