Side effects and symptoms

Other side effects

Cancer has a range of side effects. Find out more about them and how to ease them.

  • Ascites

    Ascites is a build-up of fluid in the lining of the abdomen. It can be caused by several types of cancer.

  • Avoiding infection

    Cancer and its treatments can weaken the immune system. It’s important to try and avoid infection if your immunity is reduced.

  • Difficulty sleeping

    If you are having difficulty sleeping, there are things you can do to help.

  • Fistula

    A fistula is an abnormal opening between two parts of the body. It may be caused by cancer treatment or, less often, cancer itself. Fistulas are very rare.

  • Fungating wounds

    Fungating wounds are rare. They develop when cancer breaks through the skin and creates a wound.

  • Malignant spinal cord compression

    Malignant spinal cord compression (MSCC) is an uncommon condition that affects people with cancer that has spread to or started in the spine.

  • Chemo brain

    Chemo brain describes changes in memory, concentration and the ability to think clearly. These changes can sometimes happen during or after cancer treatment.

  • Nausea and vomiting

    Cancer and its treatment can make you feel sick (nauseous) or be sick (vomit). There are drugs that can help control this.

  • Peripheral neuropathy

    Cancer or its treatment can damage the nerves that are outside the brain and spinal cord. This is called peripheral neuropathy.

  • Pleural effusion

    A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid in the lining of the lungs. It can be a symptom of cancer.

  • Superior vena cava obstruction

    Superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO) is a blockage of a large vein in the chest called the superior vena cava.