Effects of Treatment

Cancer treatment is geared toward positive outcomes, such as removing the cancer, reducing tumor size and preventing recurrence. 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.

Fatigue: The most common effect of cancer treatment, this fatigue is different than the kind healthy people experience. It can result from any type of cancer treatment.

Pain: Tumors, surgery and other treatments can all cause pain with cancer

Chemotherapy Side Effects:

  • Low Blood Counts: Many chemotherapy drugs can cause red and white blood cells to be low, resulting in a high risk for infection and anemia.
  • Nausea and vomiting: 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 of our hands and feet, causing numbness, tingling and pain.

Your doctor’s office should have a fact sheet on the usual side effects of your specific type of treatment.

Immunotherapy Side Effects:

Side effects related to the activation of the immune system to fight your cancer may include unwanted effects, such as skin rash and colitis.

Targeted therapy side effects:

While generally well tolerated, you may experience headache or elevated blood pressure.

Sleep disorders: More common in people with cancer, sleep may be disturbed by the cancer, pain, or certain drugs or treatments.

Regional chemotherapy side effects: Regional chemotherapy causes local inflammation that must subside before you will be able to leave the hospital after the treatment.