Long-Term Side Effects From Chemotherapy

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The long-term side effects from chemotherapy cancer treatments can include a suppressed immune system, weight loss, hair loss and increased risk of developing other cancers. Find out how many chemotherapy side effects will go away with time with insight from a doctor in this free video on chemotherapy and cancer treatments.

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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Dr. David Cathcart. I'm a family practice physician from Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph and we're going to talk about chemotherapy drugs and their side effects today. Chemotherapy as we have been talking about has many short term effects and most of them are not serious and most of them go away. Some of the side effects, however, can be longer lasting in fact some of them can be permanent. The longer lasting side effects would be things like suppression of your immune system. That can last for several years where you may be more susceptible to infection for several years until your immune system fully recovers. Certainly weight loss, weight loss can last for some period of time until your appetite starts to pick back up. Hair loss, this is something that can also last for some period of time until the side effects of the chemotherapy are completely out of your system. Another long lasting side effect that is maybe not a side effect but certainly puts someone at increased risk is the fact that if you have been on chemotherapeutic agents your risks for developing other cancers down the road is longer or more likely than someone who has not had chemotherapy. There are short term, long term and permanent potential side effects for chemotherapy. Again there is or it is very rare or unusual that anybody would get all the side effects. Most people will get some and these side effects are almost, most all of them will go away given some time or at least reduce in severity and almost all of them have some sort of treatment that will help minimize symptoms in the event that you do have long term side effects. This is Dr. Cathcart talking about the long term side effects of chemotherapy.


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