The following may help to improve your sleep: Contact your care team if this advice does not work, as you may need additional treatment. Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about which side effects are most common with your chemo, how long they might last, how bad they might be, and when you should call the doctor’s office about them. The hair loss is almost always temporary. Become a volunteer, make a tax-deductible donation, or participate in a fundraising event to help us save lives. This can be a sign of anaemia. Your hair should start to grow back soon after your treatment has finished. Women may be able to have their eggs frozen to be used later in IVF. More research is needed, but until more is known about the effects of vitamins on chemo, keep these points in mind: Because your cancer care team will give you lots of information about side effects, you might be more aware of physical changes. It's difficult to predict what side effects you'll get. The information below describes side effects that might be caused by traditional or standard chemotherapy. For instance, platelets help blood clot and prevent bleeding. A cold cap looks like a bicycle helmet and is designed to cool your scalp during a treatment session. Most people think of vitamins as a safe way to improve health, so it’s not surprising that many people with cancer take high doses of one or more vitamins. Certain types of chemo sometimes cause delayed effects, such as a second cancer that may show up many years later. Every person doesn’t get every side effect, and some people get few, if any. Together, we’re making a difference – and you can, too. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 2019:25-50. But they can for some types of drugs called targeted therapies. You should avoid becoming pregnant or fathering a child during your treatment, as chemotherapy medicines could harm the baby. These are called late effects. Many people having treatment feel tired a lot of the time or get tired very easily doing everyday tasks. Side effects of anti-sickness medicines include constipation, indigestion, problems sleeping (insomnia) and headaches. Here's a list of many of the common side effects, but it's unlikely you'll have all of these. But as this is a new type of treatment, access to it may be limited. It's most common to lose hair from your head, but you can also lose it from other parts of your body, including your arms, legs and face. The severity of side effects (how bad they are) varies greatly from person to person. People often become discouraged about how long their treatment lasts or the side effects they have. Side effects are not always as bad as you might expect, but it's normal to worry about this part of cancer treatment. Chemotherapy can cause unpleasant side effects, although many can be treated or prevented, and most will pass once your treatment stops. Doctors try to give chemo at levels high enough to treat cancer, while keeping side effects at a minimum. This makes you more likely to get infections that could make you seriously ill. Infections can be very serious if not treated immediately. Here are some of the more common side effects caused by chemotherapy: Learn more about these and other problems in Managing Cancer-related Side Effects. This reduces blood flow to your scalp, reducing the amount of medicine that reaches it. In Olsen MM, LeFebvre KB, Brassil KJ, eds. Contact your care team as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms. It's natural to feel anxious and to wonder if your treatment will be successful. The normal cells most likely to be damaged by chemo are: Some chemo drugs can damage cells in the heart, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system. Chemotherapy. Damage to healthy cells causes side effects. Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope. Physician's Cancer Chemotherapy Drug Manual, 2019. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice. Tell your care team if you're worried about your diet or lack of appetite. If you're working, you may want to ask your employer for time off or arrange to work part-time until your treatment has finished. Use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom. Chemotherapy can reduce your body's ability to fight infection. If your red blood cell count drops too low, you'll develop anaemia. Chemotherapy can cause unpleasant side effects, although many can be treated or prevented, and most will pass once your treatment stops. They understand how distressing it can be and can support you and discuss your options with you. Find Support Programs and Services in Your Area, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks, Common Questions About the COVID-19 Outbreak. Here's a list of many of the common side effects, but it's unlikely you'll have all of these. They also try to avoid using multiple drugs that have similar side effects. Cancer Information, Answers, and Hope. Some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy affect digestion. Help make it a reality. Imagine a world free from cancer. There may be a different one that works better for you. While the side effects of chemotherapy can be distressing, most are not serious. This should go back to normal after your treatment has finished. Many people having chemotherapy will have periods where they feel sick (nausea) or are sick (vomit). Some chemo drugs cause long-term side effects, like heart or nerve damage or fertility problems. Sometimes the side effects can last a lifetime, such as when chemo causes long-term damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or reproductive organs. Many people want to take an active role in improving their overall health. 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