Symptom Management in Patients with Cancer of the Female Reproductive System Receiving Chemotherapy


This study was conducted to examine the feelings, symptom management, and needs of patients withgynecological cancer receiving chemotherapy at Chiang Mai University Hospital, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Duringthe period July 2006 and June 2007, 286 patients were recruited. The most common chemotherapeutic regimenwas paclitaxel and carboplatin followed by single carboplatin and weekly cisplatin. Five severe and frequentcomplications were as follows: alopecia, anorexia, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Some 41.9% could well toleratewith such complications but 50.3% had various feelings including irritability, boredom, dejection, fear, stress,and anxiety. Anorexia was the symptom that the majority of them could best manage, 17.4% by eating as muchas they can and 32.6% by selecting different foods from normal, such as fruit, sweetmeats, noodles, milk. Fornausea and vomiting, 31.3% managed by eating fruit, drinking sour juice, and holding sour fruit in mouth, and16.0% used the breathing method, eating something cold, such as ice-cream, or hot food like noodles. Forhealth needs, 41.0% needed encouragement, care, health education, and information from doctors and nurses,and 5.0% needed care and encouragement from their family, and sympathy from neighbors and colleagues. Inconclusion, gynecological cancer patients receiving chemotherapy experience a variety of feelings, symptommanagement. and health needs. Nurses need to explain the pathology of the occurring symptoms so that thepatients can understand and accept the symptoms to lessen their negative impact.