Nausea is linked to your illness or the treatment you are receiving. It may occur before treatment, immediately thereafter or in the following days. Nowadays it can be better controlled thanks to systematic prevention by specific medication. In fact you will receive regular targeted sickness medication and from the first treatment cycle the dosage will be adapted to suit your needs.
Anxiety and fatigue tend to increase nausea. Tranquillizers or sleeping pills can help.
If your sickness medicine is not sufficiently strong, tell your medical team quickly, so that your basic treatment can be adjusted or back-up dosage prescribed.
Additional ways of dealing with it
Relaxation, sophrology, positive visualization, acupuncture and acupressure have demonstrated nausea-relieving benefits. Eating ginger is also effective. You can add it to your menus, take it in crystallized form or as sweets.
Going to hospital for chemotherapy may make you feel sick with anxiety (anticipatory nausea). This kind of sickness is not treated with the usual nausea medication but by relaxation therapy or tranquillizers.
- Obey your food likes or dislikes.
- Eat cold food in preference to hot, it provokes less nausea.
- Eat little and often during the day.
- Keep a stock of medication and take it if you feel sick.
- Pamper yourself! Take a rest or do something to take your attention off your sick feelings
- Prevent dehydration by regular small drinks. Herbal teas or colas are generally well tolerated. You can get rid of the bubbles in fizzy drinks by stirring them with a spoon.
- Handle carefully any material covered with vomit (clothing, sheets, crockery etc.) for 72 hours after treatment. Vomit, like urine, may contain traces of the chemotherapy.
- Clean surfaces with your usual detergent, without bleach.
- Suggest that those around you wear rubber gloves when in contact with vomit.
Ligue Suisse contre le cancer brochure : Alimentation et cancer (FR) [Eating and cancer].