a man experiencing chemotherapy side effects

Chemotherapy Side Effects

Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy are frequently accompanied by a number of side effects. Understanding the side effects of chemotherapy can help patients find ways to overcome these unpleasant sensations and effects to focus on fighting cancer.

Nausea and Digestive Issues

Chemotherapy can affect the body’s ability to tolerate certain foods and use nutrients. It can also cause nausea, difficulty eating or swallowing, and tooth decay. Nutritional supplements provide an alternative source of nutrition for individuals experiencing these difficulties to help withstand and complete their treatment.


Pain can be a side effect of chemotherapy that can be treated in a variety of ways. Prescription medications and consistent physical exercise can help. Patients undergoing chemotherapy often describe the feeling of “pins and needles” in their feet. Those who receive radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two often experience varying levels of pain, especially in their hands and feet. To help alleviate pain and bring comfort to patients with cancer during treatments, some hospitals and health centers offer complimentary hand and foot massage.

Hair Loss

Most patients who undergo chemotherapy experience some amount of hair loss. Often, people with cancer who lose their hair feel embarrassed or unhappy about their appearance, which can lead to social isolation. Wigs and hair alternatives such as scarves, hats, and turbans, can help people with cancer feel more comfortable and confident about their appearance so they continue to engage in activities that keep them connected to their loved ones and community.


For people with cancer, stress, anxiety, and tension can take a serious toll on their health and lives. Some forms of exercise, such as tai chi and yoga can help relieve these symptoms, making it easier for people to do the things that are meaningful and important to them. Both exercises use a set of therapeutic movements and poses geared toward improving comfort and well-being during and after cancer treatment.


Cancer treatments can cause varying levels of nausea and pain, which can prevent a person from eating, exercising, and engaging in other daily routines. Many people with cancer experience stress and anxiety as well as hair loss, which can have a negative affect the quality of their lives. Certain medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and even massage can help alleviate pain and nausea as well as help people with cancer maintain their nutrition, strength, and daily routines throughout their treatment and care. Physical exercise, support groups, and hair alternatives can help meet their physical and emotional needs so that they feel confident participating in family, work, and social activities.

Last Updated: October 04, 2016