Once you have completed your cancer treatment, there might be some late side effects. Side effects may affect the part of the body that was treated, as well as other parts that may not have been directly treated. Although these side effects may be alarming, there are ways to successfully combat them.
Chemotherapy, hormone treatment and other treatments may cause your bones to become thinner. The only way to monitor this is to keep up with your regularly-scheduled doctor’s appointments, where you may have tests to determine if you have had any bone loss. Eating well, exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol will help reduce the risk of bone loss.
Chemotherapy drugs and radiation can affect your brain, leading to problems with memory, poor concentration, processing delays and inhibited mobility. Any of these issues can be addressed with the help of your doctor, who may encourage you to work with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist or another appropriate specialist.
Endocrine system changes
Your endocrine system can also be affected through your cancer treatment. The endocrine system is comprised of organs and glands that control bodily functions such as growth, sexual development, reproduction, sleep and metabolism. Again, working with your doctor to pinpoint the problem and then developing a plan of action is the best way to address any endocrine system changes.
After cancer treatment, there is the risk of developing cataracts or dry eye syndrome, which can be treated by an ophthalmologist through drugs or possible surgery.
Hearing loss is another consideration, which can be addressed by an audiologist.
Chemotherapy and cancer drugs may cause changes to the heart. Talk with your doctor about this, as you began to plan your treatment. Also, eating well, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can promote a healthy heart.
You may experience joint changes, which is the result of scar tissue, weakness and bone loss. Your range of motion for a particular part of your body may also change. This is even more specific to a body part that received radiation. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy or another solution to alleviate your pain or increase your range of motion.
Another side effect of cancer treatment is having lung problems, such as issues breathing or coughing. This is even more likely if you have