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Coping with treatment side effects

Side effects can happen with any type of treatment for cancer, but everyone’s experience is different. Some people have many side effects. Other people have few or none at all.

If you develop side effects, they can happen any time during, immediately after or a few days or weeks after cancer treatment. Most side effects go away on their own or can be treated, but some side effects may last a long time or become permanent.

Side effects of cancer treatment will depend mainly on the type of treatment, the doses used, and if you are getting more than one treatment.

Some side effects aren’t always obvious. Your healthcare team might not know that you find it hard to sleep or that you’re having trouble remembering things. Tell them about any side effects that you think are caused by your treatment and how you feel about them. The sooner you tell them of any problems, the sooner your healthcare team can help you cope with them.

Learn about managing treatment side effects.

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Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

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