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Short and Long-Term Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs target quickly dividing cancer cells.

They can also affect other cells of the body that divide quickly, such as cells in the:

  • Bone marrow
  • Hair follicles
  • Mucous membranes

Your side effects may vary throughout the course of your chemo treatment. Other people receiving similar treatments may have different side effects.

Each person's experience will be unique.

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy side effects may include:

  • Bone marrow depression
  • Digestive discomfort (nausea and vomiting)
  • Fatigue
  • Temporary hair loss

Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects

Side effects of chemo can last for a short time, or they can continue through the end of your treatment and beyond.

Some ways to cope with your symptoms and manage side effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Getting enough rest.
  • Reducing alcohol use.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Getting enough exercise.

Making sure you have social and emotional support is also helpful.

Your UPMC Hillman Cancer Center care team can suggest other ways to maintain your overall wellbeing.

They will closely track your health and work with you to reduce any chemo side effects that may occur.

Contact Us About Medical Oncology and Chemotherapy

To learn more about medical oncology and chemotherapy or to make an appointment, you can: