- Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families
- Learning about chemotherapy treatment
- A checklist of questions to ask your doctor or nurse
- Should I get a second opinion?
- Where will I get chemo?
- How will the chemo be given to me?
- What are clinical trials?
- Can I take other medicines while I am getting chemo?
- How will I know if the chemo is working?
- How do I give my permission for this treatment?
- Chemo safety
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Chemo side effects
- What are common side effects?
- Hair loss
- Increased chance of bruising, bleeding, and infection
- Nausea and vomiting
- Other chemo side effects and tips to manage them
- Mouth, gum, and throat problems
- Nerve and muscle problems
- Skin and nail changes
- Urine changes and bladder and kidney problems
- Weight gain
- Other questions you may have
- When to call your doctor
- Sex, fertility, and chemo
- Thoughts, emotions, and chemo
- Paying for chemo treatment
- More information from your American Cancer Society
Urine changes and bladder and kidney problems
Some chemo drugs can irritate your bladder or cause short- or long-term kidney damage. They may also cause your urine to change color (orange, red, green, or yellow) or take on a strong or medicine-like odor. For a short time, the color and odor of semen may be changed, too. (See the section for men under “Sex, fertility, and chemo.”)
Ask your doctor if your chemo may have these effects. And let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that might be a sign of a problem. Watch for these signs and symptoms:
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Urinating a lot
- A feeling that you must urinate right away
- Reddish or bloody urine (Some chemo drugs will change the color of your urine. Tell your doctor or nurse if this happens.)
Drink plenty of fluids to ensure good urine flow and help prevent problems. Water, juice, coffee, tea, soup, soft drinks, broth, ice cream, Popsicles, and gelatin count as fluids.
Last Medical Review: 03/07/2013
Last Revised: 03/07/2013