Managing Continuing Side-Effects as a Cancer Survivor
As a cancer survivor, even though your cancer treatments have ended and your oncologist has given you the green light to resume your pre-cancer activities such as exercise, work, and regular outings, you may not feel entirely back to your pre-cancer self. Chemotherapy and other cancer treatment drugs, radiation therapy, and surgeries that were used to treat cancer often have long-term (sometimes even permanent) side effects.
More Research is Being Conducted on Long-term Treatment Effects
Cancer survival rates have increased and will continue to increase, according to the National Cancer Institute. By 2026, the organization expects the number of survivors to reach 20.3 million, which is an increase of 31% (more than 4 million survivors) over a 10-year period. With cancer survival rates steadily climbing, there’s increasing interest in the survivors’ quality of life.
This increasing interest in survivors’ side effects has prompted research into understanding which treatments produce fewer side effects after treatment is over.
Side Effects that Cancer Survivors May Experience
Just as every patient’s cancer is treated with a unique, tailored approach, lingering treatment side effects vary from survivor to survivor. Some people experience no long-term side effects at all. Others experience several. Some of the long-term side effects of cancer treatment include:
- Sleeping disorders
- Dental disorders
- Generalized fatigue
- Sexual side effects
- Mental fogginess
If you’re experiencing any of these side effects or any type of pain, make sure to let your cancer care team know. Our survivorship providers can help with learning how to manage these side effects.