What is chemotherapy toxicity?

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IV chemotherapy drip with blurred background

Chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancer. However, while the purpose of chemotherapy medications is to reduce your cancer symptoms and lengthen your life, the drugs can

also have unwanted effects on your body. Chemotherapy can poison your body and lead to harm, and this is known as chemotherapy toxicity.

Six Kinds of Chemotherapy Toxicity

Chemotherapy drugs work in different ways and have diverse effects on the body. Some examples of chemotherapy toxicity include:

  1. Cardiac Toxicity. Some chemotherapy drugs can cause either acute or chronic toxicity to the heart. In some cases, heart failure may occur.
  2. Dermatologic toxicity. Skin and nail changes may not be the most severe type of chemotherapy toxicity, but they can be uncomfortable and require medical treatment.
  3. Gastrointestinal toxicity. Different types of digestive upset are common for many chemotherapy patients and may be a form of chemotherapy toxicity.
  4. Hepatotoxicity. Liver toxicity caused by chemotherapy medications can be either acute or chronic.
  5. Nephrotoxicity. Some chemotherapy drugs such as Cisplatin and Methotrexate can cause urinary tract toxicity or kidney problems.
  6. Pulmonary toxicity. Pulmonary toxicity impacts the lungs. Supplemental oxygen and other medical interventions may be necessary to make sure that enough oxygen is received until the condition is resolved.

Generally, chemotherapy toxicity is more likely as the drug accumulates in your body. While not all instances of chemotherapy toxicity may be avoided, some cases of chemo toxicity may be prevented if the right dose of the medication is provided, and if you are regularly monitored for serious side effects.

If you suffer the dangerous effects of chemotherapy toxicity after an overdose or because you were not appropriately monitored during or after a chemo treatment, we encourage you to contact our chemo overdose lawyers for a free and confidential consultation. When medical malpractice causes your chemotherapy toxicity, our experienced lawyers are here to help you get the recovery you need to protect your future.

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