Side Effect Management

It helps to learn more about the side effects 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 effective and readily available medications to address traditional side effects from cancer treatment (such as nausea, diarrhea, constipation and mouth sores.) Also, as newer 'targeted therapies' become available, they tend to leave people with fewer traditional side effects.

Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to treatment and experiences side effects differently. There are coping mechanisms and strategies that can help.

Side Effects from Melanoma Treatments

Side effects experienced for the treatment of Melanoma vary. Following are the most common symptoms:

Biological Therapy
The side effects of biological therapy vary with the type of treatment. These treatments may cause flu-like symptoms, chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Patients may also get a skin rash.

Radiation Therapy
Side effects that may occur in the treated area include red or dry skin and hair loss. Radiation therapy also may cause fatigue.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy has different side effects depending on the type and dose of drugs given and the length of time they are taken. These side effects can include hair loss, mouth sores, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, increased chance of infections (due to low white blood cell counts), easy bruising or bleeding (due to low blood platelet counts) and fatigue (due to low red blood cell counts.)

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