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.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment Side Effects

Side Effects vary according to treatments. The most commonly reported symptoms are the following:

Chemotherapy
Side effects could include the following hair loss, mouth sores,
loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, increased chance of infections (from low white blood cell counts) and easy bruising or bleeding (from low blood platelet counts.) In addition, extreme tiredness, called fatigue (from low red blood cell counts) exhibits. These side effects are usually short-term and go away after treatment ends. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, drugs are usually given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy can cause serious side effects including damage to nearby healthy tissue. Other problems can include skin changes that look and feel like sunburn, tiredness, dry mouth, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

Stem Cell Transplant
Side effects can be the same as those caused by any other type of high-dose chemo with the most common and serious being a greater risk of infection. Other side effects include low red blood cell counts, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, mouth sores, and hair loss.

Due to the nature of this treatment, other side effects occur that are not associated with other forms of treatment. These include Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD), infertility, early menopause, radiation damage to the lungs, damage to the thyroid gland, cataracts (damage to the eye that can affect vision) damage to the lungs, bone damage and being diagnosed with leukemia several years later.

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