You may come across different terms to describe side effects that happen or are still present after treatment is over.
There are two commonly used terms:
- long-term effects
- late effects.
Long-term effects begin during or shortly after treatment and don’t go away in the six months after treatment. They may go away eventually on their own, with symptoms gradually reducing for up to a year or two after treatment ends. Sometimes long-term effects are permanent.
Late effects are a delayed response to treatment. They don't appear during treatment, but can happen months or even years later.
In this information we use the term late effects to include both long-term and late effects.
There are often things that can be done to manage or treat long-term or late effects. Let your cancer doctor or nurse know if side effects you developed during treatment aren't going away, or if you develop new symptoms or problems after treatment is over.