Cancer Cancer Article

General Treatment Methods of Cancer and Side Effects

General Treatment Methods of Cancer and Side Effects
  • PublishedJanuary 26, 2024
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General Treatment Methods of Cancer and Side Effects

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow / Stem Cell  transplant.
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Cryoablation.

Some Common Side effects of Chemotherapy

  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes in libido and sexual function
  • Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility problems
  • Hair loss
  • Infection
  • Mood changes
  • Mouth, tongue, and throat problems such as sores and pain with swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Peripheral neuropathy or other nerve problems, such as numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
  • Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
  • Weight changes

Sometimes the side effects can last for a lifetime, such as when chemo causes long-term damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or reproductive organs. Certain types of chemo sometimes cause delayed effects, such as a Second Cancer that may show up many years later.

Side effects of Radiation Therapy

Head and Neck 

Radiation therapy aimed at a person’s head or neck may cause these side effects:

  • Swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth and gum sores
  • Nausea
  • Stiffness in the jaw
  • Tooth decay


Radiation therapy aimed at the chest may cause these side effects:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breast or nipple soreness
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Cough, fever, and fullness of the chest, known as radiation Pneumonitis. This happens between 2 weeks and 6 months after radiation therapy.
  • Radiation fibrosis, which causes permanent lung scars from untreated radiation Pneumonitis.

Stomach and abdomen 

Radiation therapy aimed at the stomach or abdomen may cause these side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Radiation therapy aimed at the pelvis may cause these side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Incontinence, which is when a person is not able to control his or her bladder
  • Bladder irritation

Side Effects of Bone Marrow Transplant

  1. A sore mouth
  2. Cataracts
  3. Difficulty eating and drinking
  4. Feeling tired and run down
  5. Infertility
  6. Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  7. Lung or bone damage
  8. Risk of bleeding
  9. Risk of developing another cancer
  10. Risk of infection
  11. Sickness and diarrhea
  12. Thyroid problems
  13. Graft versus host disease (GvHD)
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint Or Muscle Pain
  • Persistent Cough
  • Shortness Of Breath
  • Skin Rashes
  • Sore Eyes Or Mouth
  • Weight Loss
  • Yellowing of The Eyes And Skin (Jaundice)

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