Medical Side Effects Information

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Don’t Let Cancer Keep You Up

by Lisa K. Sprod, PhD

Cancer and its treatment can lead to a number of short- and long-term side effects. Of those side effects, impaired sleep quality is one of the most common and most distressing, affecting up to half of all cancer survivors.

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Working with Chemo Brain

You’re back at work after cancer treatment – or maybe nearly done with treatment and working at least part time. You’re understandably eager to get back to “normal.” But if you’ve had chemotherapy, you may notice your concentration, memory, or other work skills aren’t up to par. This mental fog isn’t your imagination. It’s called chemo brain.

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What Happens to My Skin During Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy causes skin cells to break down and die. When people get radiation almost every day, their skin cells do not have enough time to grow back between treatments. Skin changes can happen on any part of the body that gets radiation. Here are some common skin changes.

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Combating Cancer-Related Fatigue

by Ann M. Berger, PhD, APRN, AOCNS, FAAN

Do you often feel a sense of physi­cal, emotional, or mental tiredness that limits your ability to do usual activities? Do you think that cancer or cancer treat­ment makes you feel exhausted? If you answered yes, you may be experiencing what your healthcare team refers to as cancer-related fatigue.

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Tips for Preventing Infections during Chemotherapy

People with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get infections through everyday activities with their family and friends or from healthcare settings. One out of every 10 people with cancer who receives chemotherapy gets an infection that requires a hospital visit.

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Most Cancer-related Blood Clots Occur in Outpatients

In a study of nearly 18,000 people with cancer, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have found that when blood clots develop – a well-known and serious complication of cancer treatment – 78 percent of the time they occur when a person is out of the hospital, at home or elsewhere, while on chemotherapy.

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Don’t Let Fatigue Get You Down

Fatigue is the most common and distressing symptom experienced by people with cancer. It can be part of the disease process or its treatments, and it can persist after treatments are completed. Cancer invades every part of your life. Similarly, fatigue can cast a shadow over everything you do, feel, and even how you think about yourself. Learning about fatigue, its causes, and ways to potentially lessen its effects can improve your overall quality of life.

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Feel Like You’re Losing Your Mind?

by Gabriela Höhn, PhD

Knowing about chemo brain and ways to handle it can help you maintain a good quality of life during treatment and beyond. You’re not alone. Many survivors have gone through these challenges, and some of us still do. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your keys in the freezer and your cell phone in the laundry basket if that means you can find them when you need them.

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