Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy – can cause unwelcome side effects. These side effects vary, depending on the type and location of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and the type, dose and frequency of drugs. Some patients have a lot of side effects, while others experience very few, even if they’re receiving the same treatment.

Side effects happen when the treatment damages healthy cells in its fight to kill cancerous cells. Fortunately, many of them can be prevented, minimized and managed. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Pain
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in skin and nails

To prevent or treat the side effects, The Zangmeister Cancer Center offers patients comprehensive palliative care, a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life for people with serious, chronic and life-threatening illnesses. For more information, visit our Palliative Care page.