Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects depend mainly on the type and extent of the treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next. Before treatment starts, your health care team will explain possible side effects and suggest ways to help you manage them.
Side Effect: Nausea and vomiting Causes: Most treatments Management:
There are numerous prescription medications available.
Treat early and aggressively.
Notes: If a medication is not working, talk to your doctor about trying something else.
Side Effect: Diarrhea Causes: Increased number of stools and/or change in consistency Management:
Prescriptions including sandostatin a long acting injection.
Over the counter loperamide.
Notes: After colon resection, it will take some time for your digestive system to adjust. By trial and error you will discover which foods you can tolerate.
Side Effect: Fatigue Causes: All treatments
Rest when you are tired.
Plan activities when you have the most energy.
Ask people for help.
Fatigue may also be a result of
Management: Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms.
Side Effect: Peripheral neuropathy - Inability to tolerate cold, tingling and/or pain. Causes: Oxaliplatin - Given with IV administration of Calcium and Magnesium for prevention of neuropathy. Management:
Some anti-epileptics, anti-depressants and creams are helpful.
Ingest foods and liquids at room temperature.
Have gloves by the refrigerator.
Symptoms usually regress after treatment.
Up to 3.5% of people still have neuropathy four years after treatment ends.
Most frequent treatment limiting side effect.
Side Effect: Mucositis (Thrush, white patches, coldsores) - Opportunistic fungal infection can occur from the mouth to the anus. Causes: Chemotherapy containing fluorouracil (5FU, Capecitabine) Management: