Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy is one of the most successful conventional methods of combatting cancer, but it does not come without side effects, some quite severe.

The chemicals that are used to combat the cancer cells in the body also cause damage to large number of healthy tissue, and greatly interfere with the body’s natural processes, rendering the body extremely weak in its natural functions and vulnerable to infection.

Intensive care is required to get the body back to full health after chemotherapy treatment. The list of the common side effects of Chemotherapy Treatment is given below:

Chemotherapy Treatment


This is a very common side effect of cancer treatment. It commonly occurs due to chemotherapy medication severely affecting red blood cell production.

Symptoms usually include dizziness, shortness of breath, constant fatigue, or a very high heart rate.

Get eight hours of sleep every night, and try not to exert your body too much.

Also advisable is the intake of green vegetables, which have iron, a key ingredient in making red blood cells. Adequate amounts of rest also helps control anaemia.

Hair Loss:

Hair loss, or alopecia, is one of the most well-known side effects of chemotherapy.

The cells in your body that produce hair are adversely affected by chemotherapy treatment, and hair usually starts falling out within the first few weeks of starting chemotherapy.

Hair usually starts to grow back within a few months after chemotherapy treatment has stopped. Most people can cope with this by either wearing wigs, or by covering their head with scarves during the course of the treatment.


Chemotherapy often has extremely adverse effects on the immune system of the body, resulting in severe weakening of the immune system.

In such a condition, any trivial infection can easily create many complications, and careful observation helps to prevent any such incidences.

Fever, sore throat, rashes, a cough, or even a runny nose are all symptoms of infection and need immediate attention in the body’s weakened state. It is extremely unadvisable to leave infection symptoms go unattended during or after chemotherapy.

Change in Appetite:

Chemotherapy deeply affects many organs, and even entire organ systems of your body. In such a scenario, appetite is usually lost, or some foods tend to taste different from what they did. It is advisable to eat many small meals a day instead of three large meals.

The body needs its nutrition after chemotherapy to repair the extensive damage that has been caused to it. In such a scenario, eat new foods, and eat small meals, even if you don’t feel hungry.


This is another direct result of chemotherapy. As the chemicals used are often very harmful to the body itself, the body repairs its internal organs after treatment stops. It also tries to flush out any excess chemicals in the tissues, and both these activities put heavy strain on the body’s systems.

Other side effects of chemotherapy like anaemia also cause fatigue. It is a good idea to try and stay active, and to balance rest and physical activity after chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy may cure cancer, but it causes many other adversities with the body which take time to fade away. Most of these are easily controllable, and can do no major harm if proper care is taken of them.

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