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Ask your oncologist and chemotherapy nurse for the details on each drug’s side effects. Side effects are different for everyone and vary based on the drugs you take.
Side effects may be short-term called acute. Or they may be ongoing called chronic. Ask your doctor which are most likely for you based on the drugs you’re taking. Here are some acute side effects you may have:
Appetite changes, including a decrease in or complete loss of appetite
Numbness and tingling of hands, feet, or both
Sores in your mouth or throat
It’s likely that your doctor will take blood samples from you often during the period of time you are getting chemotherapy to make sure your blood counts are not too low. Make sure you ask your doctor what signs, if any, mean you should call your him or her immediately. You can have a lowered number of white blood cells known as neutrophils. This is called neutropenia. Or you can have a lowered red blood cell count called anemia. Or you can have a lowered platelet count called thrombocytopenia.
White blood cells called neutrophils help fight infection. So a lowered neutrophil count can make you more prone to infections. You should call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Redness, swelling, and warmth at the site of an injury
New cough or shortness of breath
Burning during urination
Red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells and remove waste products from the cells. A lowered red blood cell count can cause these symptoms:
Fatigue, especially with exertion
Shortness of breath
Rapid heart rate
Ringing in your ears
Platelets help stop bleeding by forming blood clots. A lowered platelet count can cause these symptoms:
Tiny red or purple spots on your skin
Prolonged bleeding from a cut
Black or bloody stool
Brown or red urine
Increased vaginal bleeding
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