Most patients will experience some side effects from their treatment, but great progress has been made in treating or minimizing many of them. If you are experiencing side effects, please make sure to let your doctor or nurse know so they can track your progress and offer ways to help.
Here is a guide to the most common side effects and how to manage them:
It is perfectly normal to feel anxious when facing a life-threatening illness and intensive treatment. You may feel emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety. Our team offers many ways to help reduce feelings of anxiety and cope with it. We recommend that you reach out to a professional who can help you explore options.
It is not unusual for patients to experience nausea and vomiting at some time during treatment. There are many new ways to help control and treat these side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Some people experience weight loss or gain, a loss of stamina, or skin reactions during their treatment. Though most of these side effects are temporary, they can still have an impact on your self-esteem. Paying attention to skin care, diet, exercise, and attitude are healthy ways to cope with body image changes. Finding ways to express your feelings about the changes is very important.
Fatigue is an unusual whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep. During cancer treatment, fatigue can be caused by intensive treatments, medications, low levels of circulating red blood cells, and side effects. Learn what you can do at home to help.
Changes in memory and concentration are common throughout treatment. In most cases, the changes are temporary. Your memory and concentration will improve after treatment is complete and you start feeling better. Until then, we have tips to help.
Taking care of your pain will help you sleep better, feel stronger, and manage your illness more effectively. Most pain can be treated with medication, treatments such as physical therapy, or both. SCCA also has a pain clinic, which specializes in managing the complex pain related to cancer.
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can cause physical and emotional changes that may affect your sexuality and intimate relationships. Your care team can offer guidance on addressing your concerns.
An important part of your care during cancer treatment is the care you will receive at home from yourself, your family, and your caregiver. Our patients and staff have developed a list of suggestions for managing care at home.