Side Effects

The reality is that cancer is aggressive. Therefore treatments to destroy cancer, operations to remove cancer are also aggressive. While aggressive treatments have made vast improvements in our overall ability to beat cancer, many treatment options still come with a wide-ranging variety of side effects. 


In this section we provide tools that will help you not only deal with side effects, but prepare for any before they are able to present themselves. Knowledge is power. But putting knowledge to use is how you unleash power. 

A Few Things of Note.  

Here @ CQ we have first-hand experiences of the challenges that side-effects can have and present before, during, and after treatments. We felt there were a few important topics and tips to cover. Take a moment to read our @ CQ overview and helpful tips - this should help you understand the resources below even further. 

Be Prepared. 

We know a cancer diagnosis can be blindsiding and feel completely overwhelming. While we can't always control what happens to us, we can control how much we prepare, how much effort we give. 

It is important to begin preparing for any side effects immediately. There are many things you can do now that will help further down the road. We include a very informative & concise article from the Livestrong Foundation that will help you prepare for treatments and any possible side effects. 

Tracking Side Effects. 

We can't stress how important it is to track side effects: what side effects are you having? When? And how frequently? It's also important to note where they stand in the treatment cycle (for example: are you nauseous 3 days after chemotherapy? This is important to note because next treatment you can prepare ahead of time). 

By tracking side effects, you can ask you doctor & nurses more informed questions. You can also track and see how particular medicines are helping manage side effects. Don't forget to reference our Medicine Tracker in the Medicine section. Together, these two tracking tools can greatly assist you in understanding your treatment, preparing, and being proactive in order to learn and stay ahead of side effects. 

When a doctor asks when did a particular symptom arise, you will know. When does a medicine seem to work best? Only by tracking can you begin to understand all the moving pieces.  To view, print and download a good side effect tracker, click Learn More below. 

In Depth: Treating Cancer Pain from Memorial Sloan Kettering 

It is important to understand from a medical perspective how doctors, oncologists, and surgeons approach cancer pain and pain management. 

The included article from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will help you understand how doctors assess, think about, treat, and manage pain. Take a moment to read and to familiarize yourself with the terms and procedures. Let us know of any questions. 

Additional CQ Resources - Reincluded Below

1) "The Chemotherapy Survival Guide" 

Originally included in our "Treatment & Research" section, this book provides a summary of the many side effects you will face during your battle with cancer, what medicines are most helpful (and what the medicines actually do), the difference between some medicines and what might be best for you. 

2) "The Cancer Fighting Kitchen" 

Originally included in our "First Five" section, this wonderful book written by Rebecca Katz provides simple and easy recipes to help combat particular side effects. There is a section in this book that helps you understand how nutrition and food can help mitigate and alleviate side effects at various stages - before treatment, during treatment, and after treatment. 

Access the wheel, save, and connect with all resources listed on our site (and more) by creating your CQ Dashboard personal account. Your personal Dashboard account allows you to create notes, save links, access the latest research, and connect with others who have similar experience. 

* Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with the organizations, companies, and authors whose products we promote on our site. It is our job to remain neutral and objective, only recommending resources that have been vetted and selected by our community, experts, and/or through first-hand experiences.