Chemotherapy (Side Effects)


The powerful drugs used in chemotherapy don't just kill cancer cells. They can also harm healthy cells in your body. For some people, this causes unpleasant side effects. Let's learn about how chemotherapy can affect you.

Hair, skin and nails

Chemotherapy can affect your hair, skin and nails. Hair loss is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of chemotherapy, and it's true that some chemo drugs can cause it. But not all do. Chemo can make your skin feel dry and itchy. You may bruise and sunburn easily. Your nails may weaken and crack. So be sure to protect your skin and nails.


Chemotherapy also affects your ability to eat. Your mouth, tongue and throat can be painful and dry. Sores may form. Foods may taste different. You may lose your appetite. After you eat, you may deal with constipation or diarrhea.

Other problems

Chemotherapy also causes things like fatigue and dizziness. You may have problems with the nerves in your hands and feet. Painful burning and tingling sensations are common. Your brain may feel cloudy. And, you may have problems with your sexual health. Your doctor will give you tips to deal with these issues.


And finally, many people struggle with their emotions during cancer treatment and recovery. So if you feel overwhelmed or depressed, speak up. Talk to your doctor about support programs and services that can help you.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.