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Symptoms, Side Effects & Complications

Allergic Reactions (to chemotherapy drugs & IV contrast dyes)

Arthralgias & Myalgias

Blood (hematologic) Effects
overview • anemia (low red blood cell count) • neutropenia (low white blood cell count) • thrombocytopenia (low platelets) • blood clots & deep vein thrombosis (dvt)

Bronchorrhea (increased sputum)

Cardiotoxicity & Blood Pressure Effects



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Eye (Ocular) Changes

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Fever, Sweats & Hot Flashes

Fluid Complications
ascites (fluid in the abdomen) • pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) • pleural effusion (fluid in the space around the lungs)

Gastrointestinal Effects
constipation • diarrhea

bullet Hair Loss (alopecia)
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Hand-Foot Syndrome
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood or bloody sputum)

Leukemia Secondary to Treatment


Mucositis & Stomatitis

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Nausea & Vomiting

Neoplastic & Paraneoplastic Syndromes
pancoast syndrome (superior sulcus tumor) • superior vena cava (svc) syndrome • clubbing & hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (hpo) • hypercalcemia • hyponatremia & syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (siadh)

cognitive dysfunction • peripheral neuropathy

Nutritional Problems & Weight Loss

Oral Complications


Psychological Effects
anxiety • depression • post traumatic stress disorder

Respiratory Complications
shortness of breath (dyspnea) • lung collapse (pneumothorax, atelectasis) • infections (pneumonia, aspergillosis) • interstitial lung disease (pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, ARDS) • pulmonary embolism

Sexual & Reproductive Side Effects
fertility (including premature menopause) • sexual dysfunction • emotional issues

Skin Problems (Cutaneous Effects)

Spinal Cord Compression

Vocal Cord Paralysis



Side Effects & Complications by Treatment Modality

Chemotherapy Side Effects - Individual Drug Fact Sheets

Radiation Side Effects

Surgical Complications



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Last modified: 18-Feb-2009
Karen Parles, MLS Editor