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Side effects from biological therapy for kidney cancer can be severe. They usually improve after the treatment ends.
Which side effects you have and when you have them varies from person to person and will also be dependent on the dose schedule given. Here are more common side effects of biological therapy:
Fatigue that is moderate to severe
Fever and chills
Fluid buildup in lungs
Headaches, muscle aches, joint aches, or bone pain
Injection site reactions (redness, swelling, discomfort)
Mental or emotional changes, such as confusion or depression
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Shortness of breath
Skin rash or dryness
Taste changes or metallic taste in mouth
Urination changes--decrease in usual amount
Weight gain of 5 pounds or more
These are less common side effects of biological therapy for kidney cancer:
Temporary hair loss
Numbness or tingling in fingers, toes, or face
Problems with thinking and concentration
In addition, your doctor and nurse will watch for more serious side effects, such as these:
Changes in blood counts
Congestive heart failure
Damage to organs, such as kidneys, heart, thyroid, or liver
Low blood pressure
It may be helpful to keep a log of your symptoms. This information would include physical, cognitive, and emotional changes. A written list will make it easier for you to remember your questions when you go in for your appointments. It will also make it much easier for your medical team to identify appropriate interventions for your side effects.
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