Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    Control Chemotherapy Nausea & Vomiting

    New drugs and alternative therapies can help reduce -- or eliminate -- chemotherapy side effects.
    WebMD Feature

    Not so long ago, crippling nausea and vomiting were routine for people undergoing chemotherapy. But thanks to new drugs and other treatments, that isn't the case anymore.

    "We've made great progress," says Karen Syrjala, PhD, director of biobehavioral sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "We have much less nausea and vomiting now -- even though we're using much higher doses of chemotherapy than we did before." Because we can control the side effects, Syrjala says cancer treatment itself is much more aggressive.

    Recommended Related to Cancer

    Ewing Sarcoma

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Ewing Sarcoma is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Read the Ewing Sarcoma article > >

    Antinausea medications -- or antiemetics -- are so effective, that experts have shifted their focus from treating nausea to its aggressive prevention.

    "My standard goal is to stop nausea before it happens," says Christy Russell, MD, chair of the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Advisory Committee, "rather than waiting for it to start and then treating it."

    Of course, not all cases of nausea and vomiting can be prevented -- 70-80% of people on chemotherapy still face some risk. But thanks to better treatment, most people in chemotherapy are able to go about their normal lives, working and caring for their families.

    "You may not feel great all the time," says Carmen Escalante, MD, chair of the department of general internal medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "But you can keep going. And that's a big improvement on what chemotherapy used to be like."

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas