While effective cancer treatment takes time, it is imperative to note the significant impact that other chronic diseases may pose, during cancer. Chronic ailments such as hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes, liver, lung, oral or kidney infections, can severely hamper your treatment, at various levels. The physical, mental, emotional and psychological conditions can have a deep-rooted impact on cancer treatment. Such medical conditions that can occur or may remain in parallel with cancer are often referred to as co-existing conditions.
With proper care, timely diagnosis and constant monitoring, these conditions can be managed as effectively as cancer. If not then they can result in various side effects as a result of mixing of different drugs. It can also slow down the effectiveness of the cancer treatment, or worse, aggravate cancer even further. Therefore, it is important to determine these conditions beforehand and review the prescription, dosage, potential allergies and side effects, from time to time.
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the preferred treatment for most cancers, can alter the blood-sugar levels drastically, which is why diabetics need to be extra careful. As we all know, chronic diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure can lead to heart attacks. Therefore, it is critical to monitor the glucose levels during cancer care. A doctor may prescribe low-sugar foods or insulin shots to help mitigate sugar levels. Cancer drugs may also increase the risk of congestive heart failure, in addition to raising the blood pressure.
Extra care and regular monitoring are advised in this case too. People with a history of kidney diseases need to be careful as a dialysis may flush out remnants of chemotherapy. Your dentist needs to know about your cancer treatment, as any oral procedures that you undertake may cause excessive bleeding. There are reported cases of jaw inflammation and sores. It is always advised to get dental procedures completed before starting a chemo session, through an expert oncologic dentist.
In addition to chronic diseases, depression and anxiety too play a role in the treatment of cancer. The presence of family and friends and a healthy ecosystem is essential to the success of such therapies. The usage of anti-depressants and anxiety-related drugs can interfere with the results of cancer drugs.
Most oncologists advise that the patients report their medical conditions before or during the cancer treatment. Give your care team a complete overview of your health conditions and seek the most efficient treatment. While cancer treatment takes priority over other chronic diseases, if you know how each disease affects your condition, then half the battle is won. Understand that the goal of your treatment is not just to overcome cancer, but to embark on a journey of holistic well-being.