Decorative image

Side effects of cancer drugs

Cancer drugs have side effects and these can vary from person to person. But there are things that you can do to help you cope.

About side effects

The side effects you might have vary from person to person. It also depends on the cancer drugs you are having.

Your blood, bone marrow and cancer drugs

Cancer drugs can cause bruising and bleeding, an increased risk of infection and breathlessness. But there are treatments that can help.

Sickness (nausea) and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs may cause you to feel or be sick. But there are treatments that can help and ways you can support yourself.

Hair loss, hair thinning and cancer drugs

Cancer drugs can cause hair loss or hair thinning. But there are things you can do to help you cope.

Fatigue and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs can cause tiredness (fatigue). But there are things you can do and people that can help.

Appetite, taste changes and cancer drugs

Cancer drugs can cause loss of appetite or taste changes. But there are things that you can do to help you cope.

Diarrhoea, constipation and cancer drugs

Diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion and heartburn can all be side effects of taking cancer drugs. But there are things you can do to help you cope.

Your mouth and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs can cause a sore or dry mouth. Others may cause taste changes. But there are treatments that can help and things you can do to cope.

Your skin, nails and cancer drugs

Cancer drugs can change your skin and nails. But there are treatments that can help and things you can do to cope.

Sex, fertility and cancer drugs

Cancer drugs can cause changes to your sex life and fertility. But there might be ways to deal with some of the side effects.

Your kidneys, liver, heart and lungs and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs can change the way your kidneys, liver, heart or lungs work. But your doctor will do regular tests to check how well they work.

Nerve changes and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs can affect the way your nerves work. Read more about the symptoms of nerve changes and how to treat them.

Your eyes and cancer drugs

Some cancer drugs can cause changes to your eyes and your eyesight. But there are treatments that can help and things you can do to cope.

Sex hormone symptoms and cancer

Cancer and its treatment can affect sex hormones. Find out about treating and coping with the symptoms that sex hormone changes can cause.

Cognitive changes (chemo brain)

Chemo brain refers to the changes in your memory, concentration and the ability to be able to think clearly when having chemotherapy. There are things you can do to help you cope better. 

Last reviewed: 
20 Dec 2019

Information and help