Sweating is common in many cancers – it may result from chemical agents produced by the tumour, emotion, infection or medications such as morphine in some people. Simple measures such as loose cotton clothing and bedclothes and use of a fan will help. Alternatives to morphine may be tried. It is important to exclude chest or urinary infections as sweating due to either of these would respond to antibiotics. Some people experience drenching sweats, often particularly troublesome in the night. It can be exhausting for patients and their carers to be woken by sweats, simple measures such as loose cotton clothing and bedclothes and use of a fan will help. A number of drugs can be tried although success can vary. Click here to download a booklet providing more information on Sweating.
Medication, poor food and fluid intake and lack of physical activity can result in constipation. Preventive measures such as attempting to drink extra fluids may help but when medication such as strong painkillers are being taken it is almost inevitable that constipation will occur and therefore essential to avoid this by the regular use of laxatives. A large variety of preparations are available and doctors and nurses can advise on the most appropriate medication.
Nausea and vomiting
These symptoms may occur in mesothelioma and are common side effects of chemotherapy and other medications, particularly some painkillers. Careful assessment is necessary in order to tailor the appropriate medication to the individual situation. If a patient is vomiting or even feeling nauseated they are not able to absorb their usual medications and it may be necessary to give these by injection or via a syringe driver (see above section on pain) until the nausea and vomiting has been controlled.