Nausea and vomiting

What causes it?
  • Treatments for metastatic breast cancer such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy (less common with taxane chemotherapy)
  • Nervousness before the next cycle of chemotherapy (anticipatory vomiting)
  • Drugs for pain or symptom relief
  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Cancer in the brain or liver
  • A blocked bowel (bowel obstruction)
How to treat
  • Depends on the cause of the sickness
  • Treatment with drugs called anti-emetics
  • Treatment with drugs called steroids
  • Diet modification
  • Relaxation

Tips to help prevent nausea and vomiting

The following tips are based on the experience of health professionals and women themselves:

  • have frequent small meals instead of bigger main meals
  • avoid fatty or fried foods
  • rest before and after eating
  • don’t lie down during or after eating
  • make sure you drink enough fluids
  • see a dietitian for advice about what you should eat
  • do some relaxation training – this can be particularly helpful if nausea is caused by nervousness.