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Friday, May 16, 2008

An overview of the side effects of chemotherapy

Different chemotherapy drugs cause different side effects. Everyone is different and will react to chemotherapy treatment in a different way. Some people may have very few side effects while others will have a lot. Almost all side effects are only short-term and will gradually disappear once the treatment has stopped.

The main areas of your body that may be affected by chemotherapy are those where normal cells rapidly divide and grow, such as the lining of your mouth, the digestive system, your skin, hair and bone marrow (the spongy material that fills the bones and produces new blood cells).

If you want to know more about the side effects that may be caused by your chemotherapy treatment, ask your doctor or chemotherapy nurse, as they will know the exact drugs you are taking. Although the side effects of chemotherapy can be unpleasant, they need to be weighed against the benefits of the treatment. It is important to tell your doctor or chemotherapy nurse if the treatment is making you feel unwell. You may be able to have medicines to help you, or changes can be made to your treatment to lessen any side effects.

Our information on the individual chemotherapy drugs gives specific details on their side effects.


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