Cancer and Its Treatment
An important step in managing your cancer and its treatment is to be informed. Cancer is a complex and challenging disease that is treated in many different ways. The more you know about your specific cancer diagnosis, treatment options and possible side effects, the easier it will be to talk with your health care team to determine the best treatment plan for you. Before making a decision about your treatment, it is helpful to know what the common short and long-term side effects are and how to manage them. Everyone experiences treatment and side effects differently, but it can help to feel prepared.
Research indicates the most common side effects cancer that people experience due to the disease and cancer treatment include:
- Hair loss
- Gastrointestinal problems (like nausea or changes in your bowel habits)
- Pain, and infection, among others.
The good news is that there are specific approaches you can take to help manage these side effects of treatment.
Knowing what side effects to expect during and after cancer treatment can help you prepare for them. More importantly, being better informed can help you and your health care team to proactively manage or possibly prevent side effects of cancer treatment so they will not decrease your quality of life or disrupt your cancer treatment. Some people decide they do not want certain side effects so they talk about a different form of treatment with their health care team. Others manage their side effects and continue to live as normally as possible. However, it is helpful to be aware of possible side effects from your treatment options.
Common Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Anemia, Infection, & Bleeding
Chemo Brain and Cognitive Changes
Constipation & Diarrhea
Intimacy, Sex, & Fertility Issues
Mouth & Throat Changes
Nausea & Vomiting
Pain & Neuropathy (Nerve Problems)
Skin & Nail Changes
Weight Loss or Gain
Treatment and Side Effects PDF
Would you like to learn about cancer treatments and side effects? Do you need help managing the side effects from your cancer treatment? Try our educational booklet and personal planner.