Cancer treatment is currently stressing an increased use of chemotherapeutic drugs as control and arresting agents. “Until recently, physicians generally withheld cancer chemotherapy until the patient became symptomatic. Today, the trend is to recommend drug treatment for patients with minimal disease to prevent spread of their disease.”9 This means that there are now greater numbers of patients receiving chemotherapy in the community.
A review of the pertinent literature indicates that there are two major themes in the field of cancer and chemotherapy. Some commentators have stressed the physical effects and physical management of chemotherapy.2–4, 10 Others have examined the emotional impact of cancer, focusing either upon death and dying7,11,12 or the emotional impact on the patient and his/her family.1,5,8 This article reports on research which examined the side effects of chemotherapy and the impact chemotherapy has upon the patient's life-style.