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What are the long-term effects of chemotherapy?
Today’s chemotherapy medicines can cause fewer side effects than in the past. However, after a course of chemotherapy, some long-term side effects can remain. They include fatigue, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and mental fogginess — also known as “chemo brain.” These symptoms are usually temporary and improve over time. Also, research shows that chemo brain and fatigue can be helped with moderate exercise. Side effects may be more likely to occur and persist in people who had problems before treatment. For example, if you have nerve damage from diabetes, chemotherapy could make it worse. When planning treatment, your cancer care team will work closely with you and your family to treat any side effects that do happen, and develop a care plan to avoid worsening any pre-existing conditions.
Robert Raish, M.D.
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
About the expert
Dr. Raish is a hematologist-oncologist who cares for a broad range of diseases. He has particular expertise in treating patients with breast, colorectal and lung cancers and blood disorders.
Accepting new patients: Yes
Insurance: Most major health plans
Appointments: 971 262-9600
Location: OHSU Knight Cancer Northwest Portland Clinic, 1130 N.W. 22nd Avenue, Suite 150, Portland, OR 97210