What is the clinical presentation of nausea and vomiting (N/V)?

Updated: May 31, 2018
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; more...
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Nausea and vomiting (N/V) is a common complication of cancer treatment and a common cause of anxiety and distress in patients, in some cases even prior to their first chemotherapy session. It is important for oncologist/hematologists and their teams to recognize the significance of N/V and to create a strategy to address it. Prevention of N/V is ideal. Once N/V occurs, every effort should be made to eliminate it, or at least to minimize it.

Emesis can result from radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted treatment, or immunotherapy. The treatment team should review the potential emetogenic potential of each treatment regimen, based on published information. In addition, each patient should be individually assessed for this risk before the initiation of treatment and should be re-assessed regularly throughout treatment. The ability of an agent to cause immediate and delayed N/V should be reviewed, so that the administration of antiemetogenic agents can be timed appropriately. it is also important to review all medications that the patient is taking to check for possible drug interaction.

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