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Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Side effects result when treatment affects some normal cells as well as cancer cells. In this case, the cells lining your stomach and the part of your brain that controls vomiting are affected.
Nausea or vomiting lasts for 24 hours or more
You have trouble keeping fluids down
Nausea or vomiting can often be prevented or controlled with medications (antiemetics). Your doctor can give you antiemetics before or after treatment.
If you have medications to control nausea, take them before meals as directed.
Avoid fatty or greasy foods while nauseous.
Eat small meals slowly throughout the day.
Ask someone to sit with you while you eat to keep you from thinking about feeling nauseated.
Eat foods at room temperature or colder to avoid strong smells.
Eat dry foods such as toast, crackers, or pretzels; cool, light foods such as applesauce; and bland foods such as oatmeal or skinned chicken.
Get a little fresh air. Take a short walk.
Talk to a friend, listen to music, or watch TV.
Take a few deep, slow breaths.
Eat by candlelight or in surroundings that you find relaxing.
Use a technique such as guided imagery to help you relax. Imagine yourself in a beautiful, restful scene. Or daydream about the place you’d most like to be.
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