Side Effects

Everyone reacts differently to treatment and experiences side effects differently. 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. 

The side effects can also vary depending on the type of therapy or treatment that you receive. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy, which uses your own immune system to target and kill the cancer cells, may cause flu-like symptoms, chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. People may also experience a skin rash. 

Radiation therapy may cause a person to experience red or dry skin and hair loss. Radiation therapy also may cause fatigue. 

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).

Updated March 24, 2015