Subscribe to Boldsky

Did You Know About These 15 Serious Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

By Ajanta Sen

After the diagnosis of cancer, the first thing the physician asks the patient is to register for a chemotherapy treatment. Almost everybody knows that chemotherapy is one amongst the most potent types of cancer treatment. However, only a few of us know that chemotherapy can not only help you chuck out cancer but also cause a lot of harm to the body.

Chemotherapy includes a number of drugs that help to destroy the cancer cells which are growing rapidly in your body. However, you may not be aware that as these beneficial drugs are on their way to kill the cancer cells, they are also damaging the healthy cells in your body.

how long do chemo side effects last

This leads to numerous side effects. Moreover, the severity of these effects vary from person to person. How severe the side effects would be, depends on various factors like your age, health in general, and what type of chemotherapy you are going to receive.

A majority of side effects vanish soon after the chemo ends; however, a few side effects may continue to exist even after your chemo treatment has finished. Some effects are very stubborn and refuse to say goodbye to you.

Whatever symptoms you are undergoing, always make sure to discuss with your doctor. After knowing the side effects that your body is experiencing after your chemotherapy, the doctor might change the dose or kind of chemotherapy.

Below are some serious side effects of chemotherapy:

1. Cutaneous Toxicity
2. Hepatotoxicity
3. Alopecia
4. Thrombocytopenia
5. Ocular Toxicity
6. Gastrointestinal Effects
7. Hemorrhagic Cystitis
8. Mucositis(or Mouth Sores)
9. Anemia
10. Cognitive Changes
11. Nephrotoxicity
12. Cardiotoxicity
13. Fatigue
14. Fertility Issues
15. Sexual Dysfunction

1. Cutaneous Toxicity

Almost 60 to 80 per cent of patients are affected with cutaneous toxicity after chemotherapy. The effects of cutaneous toxicity are dose-related at times. A few examples are dryness, paronychia, skin rashes, pruritus, mucositis and hair abnormalities.

2. Hepatotoxicity

Chemotherapy involves certain drugs that can cause serious damage to your liver. These kinds of drugs are toxins which can increase in your body even faster than your liver can deal with them; this in turn leads to live damage.

3. Alopecia

One of the most noteworthy side effects of chemotherapy is alopecia (or baldness). The imagination of hair loss haunts the cancer patient so much that they totally refuse to go through chemotherapy. The sudden hair fall after chemotherapy not only makes a person look his worst but it also completely drains his self-confidence.

4. Thrombocytopenia

One of the most serious side effects of chemotherapy is thrombocytopenia (or low platelet count). If the platelet count is less than 30,000 during the treatment, this can affect blood clotting and it will also make your bleeding prolonged.

5. Ocular Toxicity

Sometimes chemotherapy can affect your optic nerves badly. Some of the most adverse effects may include dry eyes, glaucoma and retinal damage.

6. Gastrointestinal Effects

These types of side effects include vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and nausea. Although these side effects are quite common in chemotherapy, sometimes they can be very serious too (for example, bloody diarrhea or soft stool).

7. Hemorrhagic Cystitis

This is another common and significant side effect of chemotherapy. Hemorrhagic cystitis can take place during the treatment or sometimes after the chemo treatment. The general symptoms are suprapubic pain, dysuria, microscopic hematuria, frequency, gross hematuria and urgency.

8. Mucositis (Mouth Sores)

This is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy. Sometimes it can be severe and can vary from one patient to another. Mouth sores can badly hamper your food intake and thus it can be a serious side effect.

9. Anemia

Anemia can result in fatigue and drowsiness and it can be a serious side effect of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy damages the red blood cells in your body which leads to anemia. Around 70% per cent of patients going through chemotherapy are affected with anemia.

10. Cognitive Changes

A memory loss can be a severe side effect which can occur during chemotherapy. Sometimes patients also experience a loss of concentration after the treatment. Although these effects are short termed, they leave a strong impact on the patient for a long time.

11. Nephrotoxicity

Chemotherapy involves some agents which can affect your renal micro-vascular tubules, interstitium and glomerulus by increasing the "creatinine" (serum). This can result in severe kidney failure. Thus, if your kidneys are weak, it may change your drug metabolism as well as excretion which can result in toxicity.

12. Cardiotoxicity

One of the most severe side effects of chemotherapy is cardiotoxicity. It can happen either at the start or late during chemotherapy treatment. This effect can be sometimes mild and can comprise changes in blood pressure. In severe cases, cardiotoxicity can lead to heart failure.

13. Fatigue

Another severe side effect of chemotherapy treatment is fatigue. Apart from the chemo there are some more factors (related to cancer) that can make you feel extremely exhausted like depression, reduced red blood cells, radiation therapy and lack of sleep.

14. Fertility Issues

There are some particular therapies that are given to the cancer patients during the treatment which can result in infertility. It is also not advised to get pregnant during the chemotherapy treatment. Some women become permanently infertile after a chemo treatment while others may go through a temporary infertility. In men, a few drugs given during chemo can result in a lower sperm count and sometimes total sperm damage may also occur.

15. Sexual Dysfunction

Chemotherapy can also lead to low libido in women and men which is also one of the major side effects of the treatment.

For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

    Read more about: chemotherapy health anemia
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Boldsky sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Boldsky website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more