Side Effect Management

Metastatic Melanoma Side Effect Management


Living with metastatic melanoma means that you will be on various 
treatments for much of your life.

All treatments can have side effects. It helps to learn about possible side effects and what you should watch for. This way you will know what to expect. 

Try not to feel overwhelmed by long lists of potential side effects. While all possible side effects must be listed, that doesn’t mean you will experience them.   

Take Note Tip: Be sure to report any new or worsening side effects to your doctor or nurse as soon as you notice them. This is especially important if you are taking one of the newer medications, which can have life-threatening side effects. But if these are managed early on, your health care provider can work with you to keep you on your treatment plan.
 
“Ongoing communication is really important. New symptoms can occur and treatment plans may need to be adjusted in between visits. It’s an absolute must when patients are on newer therapies because the side effects can be serious, even life-threatening. We want to hear about any new symptoms in real time so we can address them right away.”  

 -Dr. Tara Gangadhar, Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania  

Common Side Effects by Treatment 


Immunotherapy - rash, itching, diarrhea, endocrine disorders, among others

Targeted therapy - fatigue, muscle/joint pain, diarrhea, skin growths, rash/itching, among others

Chemotherapy - fatigue, nausea, and potential for infection, among others

Radiation and Surgery - The side effects of radiation and surgery depend a lot on the site that is being treated, as well as the specific procedure used.

Always talk with your health care team about possible side effects so that you and your caregivers know what to expect.
 

Managing Your Symptoms and Side Effects

Your Health Care Team is There to Help Manage your Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Don’t suffer in silence! Tell your doctors and nurses how you’re feeling to get the best possible relief. 
  • Ask who you should contact if you have a problem in between appointments. Find out the best way to communicate with them (phone, fax, email, patient portal).

CSC also has general information about other common side effects of cancer or its treatment:

Anemia

Diarrhea  

Fatigue with cancer

Infection

Nausea or vomiting

Pain

Trouble sleeping

Weight change

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