Internet Sites with Information on
Drugs, Side Effects, and Various Diseases
Information of chemotherapy drugs and side effects (http://www.chemocare.com/)
Information on Medications (from pharmactial industry): Procrit, Neulasta, PROSURE (dietary supplement), Avastin. Tarceva, Alimta , Rituxan, Herceptin, Erbitux ,
Information on Coumadin (Warfarin)
Information on Thalidomide
Information on various hematologydisease states (National Societies Web pages): Sickle cell, , von Willebrands, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), Hemophilia (factor deficiencies and von Willebrands), Hemochromatosis .
Information on cancer web sites ( national societies web pages); Myeloma, Waldenstroms ,
Montgomery General Hospital (http://www.montgomerygeneral.com)
MGH - Denit Cancer Center
American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org)
National Cancer Institute (http://www.nci.nih.gov/)
University of Maryland , Greenbaum Cancer Center (http://www.umm.edu/cancer/)
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (http://www.nccn.org/)
General Information for Patients on Cancer Medications
The most important guideline that we have found over the years is common sense. If there is a problem that develops, some times the best thing is to go to the Emergency Room for quick evaluation. During working hours there is staff available to answer questions and schedule appointments for evaluation. The following list is partial and does not include all the problems that can develop in patients with cancer. Therapy outlined below is only a partial guideline, when in doubt make an appointment, contact the office or go to the emergency room.
1. Fever - Fevers occur in some patient after they have received chemotherapy. This can be a serious life threatening process because the therapy can cause a low white blood cell count. This is a compromized immune state. Temperature should be monitored at least daily. If there is a fever greater the 100.0 F this must be reported to the staff or if there is a any concern, the patient must present to the Emergency room to check blood counts.
2. Nausea - occurs some times after chemotherapy. There are medications that can help this. Contact the staff about this problem. Persistent nausea and vomiting can cause dehydration, this can be a serious life threatening process . This may require a vist to the Emergency Room and/or hospitalization . When in doubt, as with all problems contact the office, or go to the emergency room. The combination of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea require that a patient go to the Emergency room.
3. Diarrhea - sometimes happens after some chemotherapy treatments. Usually this is controlled with imodium which can be obtained at the local store. However persistent diarrhea or profuse diarrhea may require hospitalization. If the diarrhea does not respond to imodium this can cause dehydration. This can be a serious life threatening process . This may require a vist to the Emergency Room and/or hospitalization . When in doubt, as with all problems contact the office, or go to the emergency room. Fluids are important, plenty of water, pedialyte, gator-aid or juice can be improtant in preventing dehydration. We have found over the years that different people prefer different sources of hydration. The combination of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea require that a patient go to the Emergency room.
4. Blood clots - blood clots occur in people with a cancer at a higher frequency. Any swellings in the legs, arm, chests pain, and/or sudden episodes of shortness of breath are possible symptoms. Please go to the Emergency Room if you experience any of these symptoms.
5. Fatigue - This symptom is common in patients on chemotherapy. If you experience the symptom make an appointment for evaluation.
6. Diet - Maintaining proper nutrition is essential to dealing with any medical problem. We recommend nutritional supplements to help maintain weight. (PROSURE, ENSURE, BOOST to cite a few). We do not recommend one product over the other because peoples taste preferences are unique. There are perscription apatite stimulants that can also help, make an appointment to discuss these with the doctor.
7. Vitamins - We are currently recommending a single multivitamin once a day. Supplemental vitamins and herbal medications may conflict with chemotherapy. Please discuss this with the doctor. This is important because some vitamins can accelerate cancer growth and exacerbate the effects of therapy.
8. Tobacco use - Tobacco causes cancer. It can also accelerate the rate of cancer development and tumor growth. DO NOT SMOKE OR USE TOBACCO RELATED PRODUCTS. People who smoke while they are on therapy for various cancers tend to do much much worse then those who have stopped tobacco use.
9. Pain - This can be a side effect of any cancer. Therapy is complex and taylored to each specific case. There are multiple medications, and modalities avalible for control of pain. Discussing the issue with the doctor is the first step, make an appointment. Pain is graded on a scale of zero to ten, with ten being the worse level and zero being no pain. Please make a log to record the time and activity associated with each pain level. This will help in offering control when the issue is discussed in the office.