Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Platelets contain cells that make your blood clot when you bleed. Chemotherapy can lower the number of platelets because it affects your bone marrow’s ability to make them. A low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia. This condition may cause bruises (without being hit or bumping into something), bleeding from your nose or in your mouth, or a rash of tiny, red dots.
Ways to Manage Bleeding:
- Brush your teeth with a very soft toothbrush.
- Soften the bristles of your toothbrush by running hot water over them before you brush.
- Blow your nose gently.
- Be careful when using scissors, knives, or other sharp objects.
- Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
- Apply gentle but firm pressure to any cuts you get until the bleeding stops.
- Wear shoes all the time, even inside your house or in the hospital.
- Use dental floss or toothpicks.
- Play sports or do other activities where you could get hurt.
- Use tampons, enemas, suppositories or rectal thermometers.
- Wear clothes with tight collars, wrists or waistbands
Check with your doctor or nurse before
- Drinking beer, wine, or other types of alcohol.
- Having sex.
- Taking herbs, minerals, dietary supplements, aspirin or other over-the-counter medicines. Some of these products can change how chemotherapy works.
Your doctor or nurse will check your platelet count often. You may need medication, a platelet transfusion or a delay in your chemotherapy treatment if your platelet count is too low.
Call your Doctor or Nurse if you have any of These Symptoms
- Bruises, especially if you did not bump into anything.
- Small, red spots on your skin.
- Red- or pink-coloured urine.
- Black or bloody bowel movements.
- Heavy bleeding during your menstrual period or a prolonged period.
- Vaginal bleeding not caused by your period.
- Headaches or changes in your vision.
- A warm or hot feeling in your arm or leg.
- Feeling very sleepy or confused.