Why are there so many negative effects of chemotherapy?

Non specific. Unfortunately, standard chemotherapy does not differentiate between normal cells and cancer cells. That is why some normal cells are affected like cancer cells are. These are typically cells that divide quickly like hair follicles, bone marrow, the lining of the GI tract. That's where you see toxicity.
Cell damage. Most "traditional" or cyto(cell)toxic(damage) chemotherapy damages cancer cells and normal cells. Cancer cells are preferentially damaged because they are growing abnormally. Killing rapidly dividing/growing normal cells causes many of the potential side effects of chemo including hair loss, diarrhea, mucositis, etc.

Related Questions

What are some of the negative effects of chemotherapy?

Depends. The chance of chemotherapy working depends on a number of factors including -- tumor type, stage, prognostic factors as well as host (patient) characteristics such as age, genetics, etc. Those same factors including chemotherapy type, dose, frequency, duration effect the type of side effects that might be experienced. Read more...

What are side effects of chemotherapy?

Depends on the drugs. There are many types of chemotherapy. They all cause rapidly-dividing cells to die, which might cause hair loss, mouth ulcers, decreased white blood cell counts, upset stomach, nausea, fingernail changes, and tingling. Ask your doctor about your regimen, because side effects are different for each drug. For example, some chemotherapies don't cause hair loss! Read more...
Depends. Different kind of chemo will give you different kind of possible adverse events. Some chemo will cause nausea, vomiting, suppression to bone marrow, hair loss, numbness , tingling etc more than others- while others are not giving such a big problems with above. So, discuss with your oncologist in detail re- possible side effects of chemo that you are going to receive. Read more...

What are the side effects of chemotherapy?

Totally variable. Completely depends on which chemotherapy agents are being used (ex bleomycin vs. vincristine) Talk to your oncologist, and be selective when getting info from internet. Can start here: http://m.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/index Take care. Read more...

Most common side effects of chemotherapy an long term affects?

Oncology. I am sorry but you cannot possibly expect a valid or complete answer to this very broad and ambiguous question. There are thousands of cancers and numerous kinds of treatment for each one. This forum allows us to answer a question in four hundred or less characters. Your question has to be specific and simple enough. I think you may need to seek a different forum to answer your question today. Read more...

What are the side effects of chemotherapy, and how can these be managed?

Variable. There are many different chemo drugs, each with particular side effects so it is difficult to answer your question without knowing the specific drugs. Fatigue, nausea, hair loss, and low blood cell counts are seen with many but not all chemo drugs. The doc or nurse will usually teach the patient what to expect with the drugs they are getting, how to handle the side effects, and when to call. Read more...

Are there any good chinese medications that could help with the side effects of chemotherapy?

Ganoderma. There are many but my favorite is ganoderma (reishi). Over 600 studies at national library of medicine and many show that cancer patients taking this had fewer side effects of treatment, lived longer and had less recurrence of cancer following treatment. This would be my pick in large quantity. Check out www.Docshealthycoffee.Com for a unique delivery method for this wonderful herb. Read more...
Yes. many good ones. As dr. Strickland answered, ganoderma (resihi) is excellent. So are other medicinal mushrooms including cordyceps. Astragalus has been shown to reduce chemotherapy side effects, as have many others. See http://complementaryoncology.Com/reports/herb-or-compound/chinese-herbs-and-chemotherapy/ http://www.Canceractive.Com/cancer-active-page-link.Aspx?N=536 and http://www.Distance-healer.Com/4.Html. Read more...

What are the side effects of chemotherapy in treating colon cancer?

Many. Side effects are many and depend on the chemotherapy drugs used. Most of them are reversible and not permanent. Typical effects include fatigue, low blood counts, diarrhea, mouth sores, infection risks, nausea, vomiting, nerve damage, liver damage, skin rash. Rare side effects include strokes, blood clots, lung or heart damage, increasewd blood pressure, wound healing problems. Read more...
Adverse events (AE) Combination of chemotherapy is used in colon cancer- i.e.5fu, (fluorouracil) oxaliplatin, irinotecan, Bevacizumab etc. Each treatment will have diffferent potential ae- however in general-decrease blood counts, nausea/vomiting, numbness/tingling, diarrhea, , mucositis, constipation, fever, infection, bleeding, cold intolerance, etc-can happen. This is something you should discuss in detail with your oncologis. Read more...

What are the side effects of chemotherapy for lung cancer?

Some: Side effects are dependent upon the type of chemotherapy but may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, dry skin, lowered white blood cells, lowered hemoglobin and lowered platelet counts; sometimes diarrhea. Also decreased appetite and tiredness. Read more...
Talk to your doctor. There are specific side effects for each medication. Different regimens are used, your doctor can talk to you in detail about the planned treatment and the potential side effects. Read more...