The side effects you get will depend on the chemotherapy drugs you are having. Different drugs cause different side effects. You may get some of the side effects mentioned, but you are very unlikely to get all of them.
Some side effects are mild and easily treated. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist may prescribe drugs to help control them. It is very important to take the drugs exactly as instructed. This means they will be more likely to work for you.
Other side effects can be harder to manage, but can often be reduced or helped in some way. Your nurse will give you advice about this.
Most side effects stop or slowly go away when chemotherapy finishes. The side effects can be unpleasant, but the benefits of chemotherapy usually outweigh this.
If you are having a single drug, you may not have as many side effects as someone having a combination of drugs. People having high doses of chemotherapy may have more complex side effects.
Your cancer doctor and nurse specialist will explain the side effects that your chemotherapy is likely to cause. The main areas of your body that may be affected by chemotherapy are areas where new cells are being quickly made and replaced. This includes the:
- bone marrow (where blood cells are made)
- hair follicles (where hair grows from)
- digestive system
- lining of your mouth.