Like most drugs, Chemotherapy drugs also have side effects. Chemotherapy side effects are unwanted effects that you experience directly from the drug you receive. It is easy to confuse the side effects of a drug with cancer symptoms. The symptoms occur directly from cancer and are not related to the drug.
However, not all Chemotherapy drugs cause all side effects. Different chemotherapy drugs have different short and long term side effects. Chemotherapy usually damages cells dividing, so Chemotherapy is likely to affect those parts of the body where normal cells frequently divide. The mouth, intestines, skin, hair, bone marrow are commonly affected by Chemotherapy. Hair grows all the time. The skin constantly renews, and also it happens with the mouth and the digestive system walls.
Although most anticancer drugs have side effects, not all patients experience these side effects. A person may experience no side effects from Chemotherapy, experience only some side effects, or experience all of them. Whether a person will experience a particular side effect, when it will begin and end, or how severe it is depends on many aspects. These factors are how long a patient has been receiving the drug. Such as the person’s general health, the dose or amount of the drug, the route of administration, other drugs that may give in combination, etc.
The following are some important points to remember regarding the short and long term side effects of Chemotherapy:
- Some side effects of Chemotherapy are severe medical conditions that need treatment.
- Some side effects are bothersome or distressing but do not harm your health.
- Discuss side effects with your doctor.
- If you are concerned about a side effect, call your doctor or the contact person at the center where you receive treatment.
- Most side effects do not cause lasting damage and will gradually disappear after treatment ends.
- If you don’t have side effects, it doesn’t mean that the treatment isn’t working.
- Chemotherapy has very few long-term side effects. Most are short-term.
Chemotherapy’s side effects can be unpleasant. However, it can help to see problems about the benefits of treatment. Not everyone faces the side effects of Chemotherapy. It causes various reactions depending on each person. Remember that almost all side effects are temporary. When the treatment ends, they will slowly disappear.