Medical Side Effects Information

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Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

by Robert Knoerl, BSN, RN, and Grace Kanzawa, BSN, RN, with Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, PhD, APN-BC, AOCN

If chemotherapy is part of your cancer treatment regimen, you may develop a condition known as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN for short. Up to 68 percent of cancer survivors may experience this common chemotherapy side effect.

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Coping with the Cognitive Side Effects
of Cancer

by Jeffrey S. Wefel, PhD, ABPP, and Mariana E. Bradshaw, PhD, ABPP

Among the possible side effects of cancer, many survivors report changes in their thinking skills during and after treatment. The severity of these changes varies by person and can include memory problems; difficulty with concentrating, multitasking, and word finding; and slowed thinking. This cancer-related cognitive impairment is often referred to as chemo brain.

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HELP! My Skin’s Not the Same after Treatment

by Carol R. Drucker, MD

“My skin just hasn’t been the same since chemo­therapy.” I hear this comment frequently from cancer survi­vors, who often follow the statement with a list of the changes they’ve ob­served: drier, more sensitive skin; brittle nails; hair alterations; skin discoloration; and more. Survivor skin can be different from pretreatment skin in many ways. Some skin changes will resolve with time; others may not.

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Put an End To Cancer Pain

by Julie Knight, PharmD, Charlene Whittlesey, PharmD, BCPS, and Sorin Buga, MD, FACP

Pain, as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain, is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue injury or de­scribed in terms of such damage.” In other words, pain is whatever you per­ceive it to be. We all feel pain differently; therefore, the pain experience is unique to each person.

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Questions and Answers about Lymphedema

by Stanley G. Rockson, MD, FACP, FACC

Lymphedema is the accumulation of a protein-rich body fluid called lymph, typically in one part of the body, when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged. For example, if lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region during breast cancer treatment, lymphedema can occur in that arm.

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Chemo Brain

by Fremonta Meyer, MD

Over the past several years, the medical community has become increasingly aware of a phenom­enon that cancer survivors have long experienced – chemo brain. Yes, recent research shows that cancer-related “brain fog” is real, and it can have a significant impact on quality of life.

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Protect Yourself from Infection

by Kimberly Hinckley, RN, BSN, CIC, and Brahm H. Segal, MD

Infections are illnesses caused by microorganisms (germs) such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. People with cancer may be at increased risk for infections for a number of reasons.

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How Cancer Affects Your Skin

by Mario E. Lacouture, MD

Dr. Mario Lacouture answers questions on treatment-related skin complications.

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