Medical Side Effects Information

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Clearing the Haze of Chemo Brain

by Teri Simoneau, PhD

Changes in thinking, memory, and attention following chemo­therapy treatment are quite common. Studies estimate that these cognitive effects, sometimes called chemo brain, occur in one out of every two to five people who receive chemotherapy. People who experience chemo brain report poor short-term memory, slower information processing, difficulty multitasking, and problems finding the right words when talking.

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Your Skin Care Questions Answered

by Mario E. Lacouture, MD

A survey of cancer survivors showed that 67 percent did not expect skin problems to occur prior to treat­ment. But once they finished their treatment, skin irritation and dry skin were reported as the most common side effects. Since most anticancer treatments work by destroying rapidly growing cancer cells, healthy skin cells will also be affected.

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Prepare, Prevent & Protect

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

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Get Relief from Gastrointestinal Side Effects

by Marie Morande, RD, CSO, LD

While cancer treatments affect everyone differently, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery all pose potential side effects. Cancer treatment can affect your body’s ability to absorb food, reduce how much you enjoy food, and cause disruptive gastrointestinal issues. Common gastrointestinal side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and sore mouth or throat.

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Take Control of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy

by Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP

Neuropathy is a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, but until a solution is found, you can manage this side effect with help from members of your healthcare team.

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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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