Potential Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

There may be some late- or long-term side effects that you experience after receiving cancer treatment. Side effects vary from person to person based on the type of treatment received and overall level of health. Below is a list of the most common side effects of treatment that you should be aware of.

Common Late Side Effects

  • Shortness of breath, chest pain or swelling of ankles or legs

  • Compromised immune system

  • Hair loss

  • Pain, numbness or tingling in hands and feet

  • Redness or hardening of breast tissue

  • Fatigue

Side Effects That Need Prompt Attention

Call 911 if you have chest pain or trouble breathing.

Call your medical oncologist if develop any of the following symptoms:

  • New lumps in your breast, chest wall or underarm
  • Signs of infection in your surgical arm or breast (redness, swelling, pain)
  • Swelling in your surgical arm or breast that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Stiffness/tightness at your incisions that limit mobility or cause pain
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or other problems breathing, or persistent cough
  • Aches/pains that lasts more than a week 
  • Frequent headaches for more than a week
  • A temperature greater than 102º F for more than 24 hours, six months post treatment
  • If on Tamoxifen, pain and/or swelling in your leg or heart palpitations
  • If on Tamoxifen, vaginal bleeding (not related to your period)




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