Experiences with Side Effects of Cancer

There are both physical and emotional side effects of cancer; experiences vary from patient to patient regarding side effects before, during, and after treatment. Although you may not know what to expect with your certain type of cancer or treatment plan, there are ways to be proactive by preparing yourself mentally, taking care of yourself physically, and doing what is best for yourself emotionally all through your cancer diagnosis. You can focus on your daily routine, talk closely with your care team about what you are experiencing, eat healthy, continue to exercise, distract yourself with hobbies, and lean on your support system whether it is made up of family, friends, or local support groups.

It might help you to know what other WhatNexters have experienced through their cancer treatment; remember that side effects will vary for everyone. It may help you to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

For more information read our guide onTreatments and Side Effects of Cancer - What to Expect.

  1. over 3 years ago
    cynthialou's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Hair started thinning after week 3 of taxol.

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    • wbuckler
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Color...
    over 3 years ago
    wbuckler's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    Driving became dangerous as my husband couldn't feel which pedal he was pushing. I had to take FMLA so I could take him to appointm...

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    0 Comments
    • eliz928
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    eliz928's Avatar

    Joint changes

    Side Effects

    Almost overnight after starting chemo (adriamycin/cytoxan) i was no longer to get up from sitting in the tub or from a low chair or ...

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    2 Comments
    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    This, for me, is the worst of ALL the things I have had to deal with during my journey. I was never warned about Neuropathy, nor did...

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    2 Comments
    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Depression/Anxiety

    Side Effects

    After completing treatment, I am now in remission, but am a FAR different person. I was ALWAYS the happy person in the room...now I ...

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    0 Comments
    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    On several occasions, my WBC Count was low enough for them to treat me with Neupogen.

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    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia)

    Side Effects

    About halfway through my treatment, my Platelets were low enough for them to postpone my treatments for 3 weeks.

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    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Just before starting my 2nd round of treatments, my hair was beginning to fall out. I went and got a short haircut because I had VER...

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    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    After my first Chemotherapy treatment, I woke up in my bed surrounded by my own feces. I was MORTIFIED! They didn't tell me that thi...

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    • Nyphrodel
    • Experience with Small Cell, Lung Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Nyphrodel's Avatar

    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    I was having TERRIBLE Chemo Brain. It has gotten better with time.

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  2. over 3 years ago
    CentaurWill's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    It was all falling out.... head and beard. So, about two weeks after my stem-cell transplant, I asked my nurse to cut it all off. I...

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    0 Comments
  3. over 3 years ago
    CentaurWill's Avatar

    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    Minor 'fog'. Slow to recall things that I know I know.

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    0 Comments
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