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.

  • Adhesions

    Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that may form after abdominal surgery. They can cause organs in your tummy (abdomen) to stick together.

  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

    If you are having difficulty sleeping, there are things you can do that may help improve your sleep.

  • Fistula

    A fistula is an abnormal opening between two parts of the body. It may be caused by cancer or cancer treatment.

  • Ulcerating cancer wounds

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

  • Malignant spinal cord compression (MSCC) - symptoms

    MSCC is a rare condition that is potentially serious. Knowing the symptoms means you can get medical advice as soon as possible.

  • Malignant spinal cord compression diagnosis and treatment

    If you have symptoms of MSCC, an early diagnosis can make treatment more effective.

  • Cognitive changes (chemo brain)

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

  • Hernia

    A hernia is a lump caused by an internal part of the body pushing through a weakness in a muscle or tissue wall.

  • Managing nausea and vomiting (anti-sickness therapy)

    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 (fluid on the lung)

    A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid between the two layers of the pleura (linings that cover the lungs).

  • Superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO)

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