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Managing Cancer-related Side Effects

Find information about common side effects that can be caused by cancer and cancer treatment.

Find a side effect

You can also browse common side effects below. Make sure to talk to your cancer care team about what side effects you should watch for, and let them know about any symptoms or side effects you have, so they can be managed and treated.

When to call your cancer care team

Ask your cancer care team what symptoms you should call them for, and when you should go to the emergency room. Know who to call when the office or clinic is closed.

Each side effect page also includes reasons to call your cancer care team. 

Side Effects by Category

Cancer and cancer treatment may cause bowel or bladder changes or problems such as diarrhea, constipation, incontinence, or retention.

People going through cancer treatment sometimes have cognitive changes such as trouble remembering, paying attention, or thinking clearly. 

A cancer diagnosis can affect the emotional health of patients, families, and caregivers. Common feelings include anxiety, distress, and depression. 

Cancer treatment can cause fatigue, weakness, and balance problems. Many people might also have difficulty sleeping, or might be at risk for falling. Learn more about these side effects and how they can be managed.

People who have cancer or who are getting cancer treatment often have a higher risk of getting an infection, and infections can be more serious than in people who don't have cancer. 

Having cancer does not always mean having pain. But if you do have pain, you can work with your health care team to make sure a pain control plan is part of your care. 

Cancer and cancer treatment can cause different types of swelling. It may be called edema, ascites, or lymphedema depending on the area affected and what is causing the swelling.