Nausea and Oncology Mini Series #1 (General Information)

Nausea and Oncology Mini Series #1 (General Information)

Nausea and Oncology Series


Nausea is a serious side effects of cancer therapy


Key Points

  • Nausea is a serious side effect of cancer therapy.
  • It is important nausea is controlled so that the patient can continue treatment and have a better quality of life.
  • Different types of nausea are caused by chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other conditions.

Nausea is the main side effect of cancer therapy and affects most patients who have chemotherapy.  Radiation therapy to the brain, gastrointestinal tract, or liver also cause nausea and vomiting.

Nausea is an unpleasant feeling in the back of the throat and/or stomach that may come and go in waves. It may occur before vomiting. Vomiting is throwing up the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Retching is the movement of the stomach and esophagus without vomiting and is also called dry heaves. Although treatments for nausea and vomiting have improved, nausea and vomiting are still serious side effects of cancer therapy because they cause the patient distress and may cause other health problems. 

Nausea is controlled by a part of the autonomic nervous system which controls involuntary body functions (such as breathing or digestion). Vomiting is a reflex controlled in part by a vomiting center in the brain. Vomiting can be triggered by smell, taste, anxiety, pain, motion, or changes in the body caused by inflammation, poor blood flow, or irritation to the stomach.

Rachel Namery, MS

Manager of R&D, Formulator and Nutrition Coach

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