Chemotherapy treatment may cause a number of side effects. These vary depending on the drugs you are given. Your doctor or nurse will tell you what side effects you are most likely to experience.

Some side effects are more common than others, though you will not have all of them. Side effects can be reduced and controlled with medication. Your doctor or nurse can tell you how to manage them. The most common are:

  • increased risk of infection
  • anemia (reduced number of blood cells)
  • hair loss or thinning
  • feeling of nausea or vomiting
  • mouth ulcers
  • tiredness
  • tingling in the hands or feet

Most side effects are only short-term and will improve gradually when the treatment is over.

One of the most common side effects is an increased risk of infection. Contact your hospital and talk to a nurse or doctor if:

  • you have a fever
  • you suddenly feel unwell
  • you have any symptoms of infection, such as a cold, sore throat, cough, frequent urinating (urine infection), diarrhea, chills, etc.