Guide to Managing Your Chemotherapy Treatment: Side Effects

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Date: November 2012

>> [background music] Normal body cells grow and divide in a controlled way.  Cancer cells are abnormal and grow and divide in a rapid, uncontrolled way.  Chemotherapy works by attacking all rapidly growing cells in the body in an effort to stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying.  Because chemotherapy affects all rapidly dividing cells, whether they're cancerous or not, side effects may result.  Most side effects resulting from chemotherapy are temporary and can be managed with additional medications and proper care. 

>> Patients should always tell their doctors or nurses of any problems they are having early on because often we can treat these problems with a simple medication or one simple intervention that could prevent the patient from having more difficult issues in the future.

>> If you read the guide book, it will tell you in there that these things are going to happen and tell you how many days you can go being constipated and stuff.  There's that guide, pay attention to it.