Cancer Treatments, Insights and Other Musings -

14 Weird Side Effects of Cancer Treatments

by Jane Ashley

Weird Side Effects

Nose Bleeds

When we begin cancer treatment, we are sailing into “uncharted waters” — we’re about to being something that we’ve never done before. We’re nervous, even scared, about the side effects.

Most of us already know about the common side effects of cancer treatment:

Fatigue
Nausea or vomiting
Weight loss
Hair loss
Diarrhea
Compromised immune system

Many patients have a chemo orientation or their oncologist gives them a list of their medications and possible side effects (also...

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Coping With Fatigue After Cancer Treatments

by Jane Ashley

Everyone seems to realize that fatigue is a part of cancer treatment, but most of us assume that fatigue will go away soon after treatment. We hope and expect that we’ll get back to “normal” and that life will be just like it was before.

Yoga For Fatigue

But for many of us, the fatigue just doesn’t go away. Fatigue lingers, sometimes for years after treatment. For most of us, it gradually gets better … but we’re just never quite the same. We don’t have the stamina we once had.

Don’t feel guilty — it’s real....

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Chemo and Radiation's Effect on Your Eyes

by Jane Ashley

When we think of chemotherapy side effects, we think about nausea, fatigue and low blood counts. But did you know that some chemotherapy drugs and other cancer treatments may affect your eyes? From tearing to dry eyes to sensitivity to light, be sure to tell your oncologist about any changes to your eyes.

Eye Symptoms

How Can Chemotherapy Affect Our Eyes?

Chemotherapy and the steroids that help prevent side effects can cause eye problems.

• Cataracts. When the lens of your eye become cloudy, the cloudy...

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Coping With Pain During and After Cancer

by Jane Ashley

All of us look forward to our treatments ending. We think that that we will have an uneventful return to normal life. But for some cancer patients, they suffer from pain after treatment as a late side-effect of their cancer treatment.

Pain

The causes of chronic pain are as varied as are the diagnoses. These are the leading causes of pain in cancer survivors.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
Pain after head and neck cancers
Post-mastectomy pain

Oncologists estimate that about one-third of...

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Coping With Radiation Side Effects

by Jane Ashley

Many newly diagnosed cancer patients are surprised to learn that radiation will be part of their treatment. When most people think about cancer treatment, they automatically think of chemotherapy.

External Beam Radiation National Cancer Institute

Yet over half of all cancer patients will receive radiation as part of their treatment regimen. Radiation therapy is considered an essential part of curative treatment for brain, breast, cervical, head and neck, lung, prostate and sarcomas. Radiation is also used for eye, lymphomas, thyroid cancers...

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Depression and Cancer

by Jane Ashley

Every cancer patient says that the diagnosis was a shock. After the news settles in and we begin to process our new reality, we may begin to feel many different emotions. Feeling distressed, down, anger or weepy is totally normal when we are first diagnosed, but how long should these deep, dark feelings last? Is it normal to feel this way? Or could our feelings be signs of depression?

Lonliness

What are the symptoms of depression?

It’s normal to experience strong reactions to our diagnosis, but if...

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5 Side Effects of Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Treatment You Must Know About

by GregP_WN

Head and neck cancer includes cancer from the throat up, including salivary cancer, tonsil cancer, tongue cancer, thyroid cancer, laryngeal, esophageal cancer, adenoid cancer, including subtypes of each. There are specific types of diagnoses for these also, making for a large group of head and neck cancer diagnoses. 

Head And Neck Cancer Stat

The treatments for each will vary, but often include a variety of chemo regimens, surgery, and radiation. While chemo has it's own set of side effects, and many of them...

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Frustration - A Big Side Effect of Cancer

by Jane Ashley

Nowhere is frustration ever listed as a possible side effect of cancer, but as we all learn soon enough, frustration is a BIG side effect of cancer.
Frustration comes from all angles – from the diagnosis process to the waiting for treatment to begin to the crazy/stupid things people tell you to do to cure your cancer. So let’s look at frustration. My bet is that most of you have already experienced several of these frustrations.

A Hug Will Have To Do

Waiting for the diagnosis.

How long did it take for you to get...

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Low Platelets - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

by Jane Ashley

Nothing is more frustrating to hear on the morning of chemo than, “No chemo for you today. Your platelet count is too low.” The chemo that we once feared has become our friend. We want our chemo because we’re afraid for it to even be delayed for a week. We realize that chemo is our best hope to beat this.

Low Platelets

But now, our oncologist is telling us that we can’t have chemo today. So we’re wondering, “What are platelets? Why are they so important that I can’t have chemo if there are low?”

What are...

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Why Cancer Patients Become Anemic

by Jane Ashley

What causes anemia in cancer patients? How can we fix it? Nothing is more frustrating than being told that we can’t have chemo or learn that our surgery has been postponed we are anemia.

Anemia

What is anemia? 

Anemia is a common blood disorder. It occurs when we don’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are produced in our bone marrow, and they transport hemoglobin. The hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs and delivers it throughout our body.

If our iron levels fall or if...

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