Side Effect Management

It helps to learn more about the side effects that may occur from your treatment(s) before you begin, so you will know what to expect. When you know more, you can work with your health care team to manage your quality of life during and after treatment. 

There are many medications available to address side effects from cancer treatment. Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to treatment and experiences side effects differently. There are coping strategies that can help. Talk to your health care team about any side effects that you are experiencing so they can help you manage them. Your doctor may be able to discuss options such as lowering the dose of your treatment to help improve your quality of life if side effects persist and are not easily managed.

Your specific side effects may be due from the disease itself or from treatment and dose, but you may experience the following common side effects :

  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores or dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin changes
  • Increased chance of infections (from having too few white blood cells)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (from having too few blood platelets)
  • Fatigue (from having too few red blood cells)

You may also experience side effects of treatment well after your treatment has ended. It is important to talk to your doctor about long-term effects of treatment as part of your post-treatment plan.

Updated 2/24/15