Management of oncological symptoms, treatment-related adverse events and life quality improvement: a literature review

Augustė Šilaitė1, Andrius Ališauskas2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

2Kaunas Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania


Background. Oncology patients suffer from many symptoms of the disease and treatment adverse effects. These include pain, cachexia, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Both the patient and the medical profession are paying increased attention to alternative therapies that can be combined with already conventional drug treatments.

Aim. By analysing the scientific literature on cancer, reducing the side effects of treatment and improving the quality of life to find out about the alternative methods of relieving pain, cachexia, nausea and vomiting and fatigue.

Methods. Literature sources were selected from the PubMed scientific database, using the key words and „cancer pain management“, „oncology pain management“, „oncology patients“, „quality of life“, „cancer symptom management“, „oncology treatment-related adverse events management”.

Results: the most scientific evidence for alternative therapies include acupuncture, nutritional therapy, cannabinoid preparations, ginger, yoga, and massage.

Conclusions. Pain is effectively managed by acupuncture procedures. In cases of malnutrition and cachexia, it is important to take omega-3 fatty acids and in cases of very poor appetite, patients can consider cannabis medications. Ginger is suitable for relieving vomiting and nausea. Yoga and massages are great alternative to reduce fatigue. These alternatives can improve life quality for oncology patients.

Keywords: cancer, symptom managment, oncology patient, quality of life.

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