When we communicate the need to begin a treatment of chemotherapy to our patients, very often we read in their eyes and perceive in their words a fear of facing a therapy that they do not understand, and at times, that they know about only from (often dramatic) stories from friends or relatives.
Chemotherapy, which has led to significant results in many types of cancers, is complicated by side effects that can be more or less serious.
Knowing about symptoms that are side effects of chemotherapy makes their appearance less unexpected and less dramatic and allows them to be treated more quickly and effectively.
A close relationship between the patient and the nursing and medical staff is an essential starting point from which to begin and undergo chemotherapy calmly, a treatment that is important for the patient’s life.
Over time and in daily contact with patients and their anxieties and fears before, during, and following chemotherapy, we have realised the importance of communication and information. Avoiding unnecessary hypocrisies and easy generalisations, we have sought to answer our patients’ questions simply and clearly.
As a result of this experience we decided to gather together in this booklet the most frequently asked questions with our answers.
It is intended as a small guide to everyone who has to face this issue and certainly not as a substitute to the personal contact with doctors and nurses.
We would like to thank all the patients who, by way of their questions, are the real authors of this guide.