Managing side effects associated with cancer treatment can be a scary and confusing ordeal. This page has been created to help you understand what to expect before, during, and after the various cancer treatments offered at Mid Florida Cancer Centers.
Physical Side Effects
There are some physical side effects associated with cancer itself and the treatments that follow. They may include:
- Pain – This can be caused by the cancer itself or by specific cancer treatments, such as surgery
- Nausea and Vomiting – 8 out of every 10 person being treated for cancer will have periods of nausea and vomiting. However, there are multiple medications to control this.
- Fatigue – This is one of the most common side effects of cancer and treatment.
- Anemia – This is caused by the decreasing count of red blood cells in the bloodstream, which may cause a feeling of being tired, weak, or may cause shortness of breath.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
Side effects from radiation therapy happen when the radiation damages the nearby healthy tissue. Before treatment, your doctor will go over what to expect and answer any questions you may have. Here are some other tips that may help:
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing over the treatment area.
- Do not rub or scrub the treatment area.
- Do not put a heating pad or ice pack over the treatment area.
- Avoid heavily-populated places and don’t visit with people who have colds, infections, etc. while you are in treatment
- Maintain a balanced, nutritious diet
- Get plenty of rest, as you may feel more tired than normal.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy drugs kill the fast-growing cancer cells within the body. However, the drug travels throughout the entire body so normal healthy cells can be affected as well. Cells in the digestive tract, the mouth and the reproductive system as well as hair follicles and cells in the bone marrow are the normal cells most likely to be damaged. Medicine can be given in conjunction with the chemo to help the body’s normal cells, in some cases.