3. Side effects and complications of cancer and its treatment

  1. Sing Yu Moorcraft MB BCh, MRCP Clinical Research Fellow in Medical Oncology3,
  2. Daniel L.Y. Lee MB BCh, MRCP Specialist Registrar in Medical Oncology4 and
  3. David Cunningham MD, FRCP, FMedSci Consultant Medical Oncologist5
  1. Alexandra Pender1,
  2. Sing Yu Moorcraft1 and
  3. Daniel L.Y. Lee2

Published Online: 18 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118673768.ch3

Clinical Problems in Oncology: A Practical Guide to Management

Clinical Problems in Oncology: A Practical Guide to Management

How to Cite

Pender, A., Moorcraft, S. Y. and Lee, D. L.Y. (2014) Side effects and complications of cancer and its treatment, in Clinical Problems in Oncology: A Practical Guide to Management (eds S. Y. Moorcraft, D. L.Y. Lee and D. Cunningham), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. doi: 10.1002/9781118673768.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 3

    The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

  2. 4

    St James' Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK

  3. 5

    The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK

  2. 2

    St James' Institute of Oncology, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 APR 2014
  2. Published Print: 11 APR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118673829

Online ISBN: 9781118673768

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Keywords:

  • Side effects;
  • complications;
  • toxicity management;
  • chemotherapy toxicity;
  • targeted drug toxicity

Summary

Oncology treatments can cause significant toxicities, which may be life-threatening, significantly impact on patients' quality of life or necessitate changes to their treatment. This chapter provides guidance on the most common side effects of treatment, including diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes, myelosuppression, neuropathy and mucositis. Some toxicities occur acutely, whereas others (e.g. osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction and infertility) are longer-term complications of treatment. In addition, the underlying cancer itself can lead to a number of potential complications (e.g. bowel obstruction, renal failure and biliary obstruction) which may result in emergency hospital admission. Patients require careful assessment and management, particularly as in some cases it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause. For example, fatigue, anorexia, breathlessness, confusion and thromboembolism may be caused by both cancer and its treatment.