Effects of Treatment

Cancer treatment is geared toward positive outcomes, such as removing the cancer, reducing tumor size, preventing recurrence and cure. However, many of the treatments used to accomplish that have their own challenges for our bodies. Prior knowledge of what to expect helps in treatment decision-making and getting the support you need to deal with these effects.

Side Effects of Hormone Therapy

  • Short term: Impotence and hot flashes.
  • Intermediate: Metabolic syndrome (increased cholesterol and triglycerides, higher body fat and depression.
  • Long-term: Accelerated osteoporosis, increased risk of diabetes and cardiac toxicity.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

  • Low blood counts: 70 percent of patients have lower blood counts, increasing the risk for infection or anemia. These are routinely managed.
  • Nausea and vomiting: This side effect is very rare in prostate cancer treatment. If it does appear, Siteman has considerable experience managing these so cancer therapy can continue, and you can live your normal life.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a set of symptoms caused by damage to the nerves that control the sensation in your arms and legs.
  • Sleep Disorders: More common in people with cancer, sleep may be disturbed by the cancer, pain or certain drugs or treatments.

Depending on the type of chemotherapy, other side effects may apply. Your doctor should have information sheets available on the most common side effects for your specific drug.


Cardio-oncology is a new medical discipline focused on optimally treating any associated heart conditions in patients who have been treated for cancer, or are currently being treated for cancer. Specialized cardiologists can assess patients for the potential risk of developing certain heart conditions, especially if they are receiving particular types of cancer drugs, or following radiation treatment to the chest.