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Side effect: A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair and mouth sores.
Each person with cancer reacts differently to cancer treatments and its various side effects. Fortunately, doctors now have many ways to reduce and even prevent these side effects. Before treatment starts, the healthcare team will explain possible side effects and suggest ways to help you manage them. This team may include doctors, nurses, a dietitian, radiation therapist and others.
At any stage of cancer, supportive care is available to help relieve the side effects of therapy, to control pain and other symptoms, and to ease emotional and practical problems. For more information about supportive care, contact your doctor, nurse or social worker at (309) 451-8500.
Below you will find some questions you can talk to your doctor or nurse about:
There are ways to help prevent and reduce side effects of cancer treatments. Although every person’s experience with cancer treatment is different, here are some tips that help reduce and lessen side effects:
Be sure to tell your doctor, nurse or radiation therapist about any side effects that you notice. They can help you treat the problems and tell you how to lessen the chances that the side effects will come back. The information discussed here can serve as a guide to handling some side effects, but it cannot take the place of talking with the members of your health care team.
Please visit these helpful websites for more information on coping with cancer side effects: