Cancer survivors also have a higher risk of second cancers later in life. Side effects involving the digestive system can contribute to loss of appetite and feeling full even though you haven’t eaten much. Learn more about managing diarrhea. These conditions can affect your heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. This can cause the following nerve or muscle symptoms: Weakness or numbness in the hands, feet, or both, Problems seeing, hearing, or walking normally. It might be brief or last a long time. It is important to talk with your health care team about pain while you are taking chemotherapy. In the process, some kidney and bladder cells can become irritated or damaged. Children who had chemotherapy may develop side effects that happen months or years after treatment. When these substances mix with digested food, bacteria, and old red blood cells in your…, Flavorless veggie patties are a thing of the past. This may cause a number of side effects. As the drugs affect your integumentary system, your fingernails and toenails may turn brown or yellow. The side effects of chemotherapy are different for each person. It targets cells that grow and divide quickly, as cancer cells do. Preventing and treating side effects is called palliative care or supportive care. New hair growth usually begins several weeks after the final treatment. You may also feel pressure, bloating, and gas around the abdomen. Symptoms include long periods of nosebleeds, blood in vomit or stools, and heavier-than-normal menstruation. Different drugs cause different side effects. Certain types of chemotherapy often have specific side effects. You may also experience bladder irritation, which causes a feeling of burning when urinating and increased urinary frequency. Your bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside your bones. But during treatment, low numbers of blood cells can cause problems and must be watched closely. Most types of pain related to chemotherapy get better or go away between treatments. You may also develop sensitivity to the sun and be susceptible to burns. Learn more about managing appetite loss. The doses of chemotherapy can often be adjusted to prevent low blood counts. Why’s Your Poop Brown and What Can Cause Color Changes? Preventing diarrhea or treating it early helps keep you from getting dehydrated (losing too much body fluid). The side effects of chemotherapy differ from person to person. Learn more about how chemotherapy affects your body. Chemotherapy can affect your fertility. And your reflexes and small motor skills may slow down. Learn more about cancer pain and how to manage it. Share on Pinterest. It can help to check your heart before treatment. Most people lose some bone mass as they age, but with chemo, some drugs increase this loss by causing calcium levels to drop. How the side effects of chemo manifest for each person may depend on other factors, such as age or existing health conditions. Learn more about nausea and vomiting. Fatigue is feeling tired or exhausted almost all the time. Most side effects go away after treatment. The most common side effect is … Some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy affect digestion. While symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, and hormonal fluctuations may interfere with sex drive in both men and women, many people on chemotherapy are still able to have active sex lives. Mouth sores also make you more susceptible to bleeding and infection. Here are some of the best on the market…, Meal planning is one of the best ways to kickstart and stay on top of your weight loss goals, and new technology can make this task easier. If the pain is related to chemotherapy, doctors can treat it by: Blocking pain signals from the nerves to the brain with spinal treatments or nerve blocks. “Tiredness is probably the most universal side effect … Other medicines, such as pain medication, can also cause constipation. White blood cells play an important role in the immune system. This test uses ultrasound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body, from eyebrows and eyelashes to your legs. Your health care team uses the following tests to check for blood disorders: Complete blood count (CBC). The right medications given before and after each dose of chemotherapy can usually prevent nausea and vomiting. Learn more: Alternative treatments for osteoporosis ». While chemotherapy destroys cancer cells, it is the damage to healthy cells that causes many of the common side effects of chemotherapy. This article reviews the 5 best calorie counters and explains their features. Learn more about managing hair loss. You can lower your risk of constipation by drinking enough fluids, eating balanced meals, and getting enough exercise. Mouth sores usually go away completely when treatment ends. Trusted, compassionate information for people with cancer and their families and caregivers, from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the voice of the world’s cancer physicians and oncology professionals. They may be able to suggest a local cancer support group where you can speak with others undergoing cancer treatment. 1. Age and genetic factors may also play a role. These problems are less likely to occur if your heart is strong and healthy when you start chemotherapy. You might eat less than usual, not feel hungry at all, or feel full after eating a small amount. Side effects happen when chemotherapy damages these healthy cells. Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, The 8 Best Veggie Burgers for Your Meat-Free Routine, The 11 Best Meal Planning Apps to Help You Lose Weight, The 5 Best Calorie Counter Websites and Apps, The 10 Best Weight Loss Apps That Help You Meet Your Goals, The Pregnancy Bras You'll Wish You Had Sooner. Active cells are cells that are growing and dividing into more of the same type of cell. Learn more about managing nervous system side effects.Changes in thinking and memory. A Pap test gathers a sample of cells from the cervix. Yes. Your follow-up care might include regular physical examinations, medical tests, or both. Cardiac Concerns . Long-term side effects from surgery depend on the type of cancer and where in the body you had surgery. Not enough red blood cells causes a condition called anemia. Some studies show older women with breast cancer tend to have more cognitive problems after chemotherapy … But they can for some types of drugs called targeted therapies. And some people have trouble with thinking, concentrating, and memory for months or years after treatment. The kidneys work to excrete the powerful chemotherapy drugs as they move through your body. Be sure to take special precautions to avoid sunburn when outdoors, such as wearing sunscreen or long-sleeves. The drugs help your bone marrow make more blood cells. Fatigue. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. In men, some chemo drugs can harm sperm or lower sperm count. These symptoms usually get better with a lower chemotherapy dose or after treatment. The most common areas of the body to suffer breaks are the spine and pelvis, hips, and wrists. Here are our picks of the best shoes for toddlers, what to look for, and helpful fit…. Nervous system effects. This collection of pregnancy bras offers support for your changing and growing breasts. In some cases, depending on the reactions your body is having, your doctor may need to adjust the type or dose of the chemotherapy. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), women treated for breast cancer are at increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fracture. Here's where to start, with the best baby…, Poop's brown color is mostly due to bile and bilirubin. Depression is a common feeling as well, as people juggle work, family, and financial responsibilities on top of cancer treatment. Weight loss apps can help you track lifestyle habits like calorie intake and exercise. Food may taste unusual or unpleasant, leading to unintentional weight loss from not eating. As chemotherapy kills cancer cells, it can damage some of your healthy cells as well. Side effects of oral treatments are similar to those of traditional ones. Made in the laboratory, monoclonal antibodies bind to proteins on the surface of can… To help your system, your doctor will likely recommend you drink plenty of fluids to flush the medication out and keep your system functioning properly. Chemotherapy can cause misleading results on the test. For women, this is the ability to get pregnant and carry a pregnancy. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Your doctor might call it cognitive changes or cognitive dysfunction. Being tired or feeling sick from cancer or treatment can also affect your ability to enjoy sex. Getting care after treatment ends is important. Chemotherapy can cause constipation. The thought of having chemotherapy frightens many people. They often hear about how terrible chemotherapy side effects are and how sick you can feel. Chemotherapy (chemo) is the use of medicines or drugs to treat cancer. That’s because the drugs can harm cells in the bone marrow, where red blood cells are produced. 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