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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

For Patients & Families
Complications & Side Effects

Most people find it helpful to have information about side effects so they know what to expect and how to manage them. Although the side effects of treatment can be unpleasant, it is important to know that they are usually temporary. Many of these side effects and complications can be treated with medications and careful monitoring.

Remember that all patients are unique. No two persons will have the same experience with side effects. The degree and intensity of each possible side effect also vary greatly from person to person.

Your BMT healthcare team will work closely with you to minimise any discomfort that you may have as a result of your treatment.

What Are the Common Side Effects?

The common side effects and management of chemo/radiotherapy are:


Why Does Chemotherapy Have Side Effects?

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy affect the rapidly dividing cells of the body. Besides affecting the cancer cells, chemo/radiotherapy also cause changes to cells in the hair, nails, lining of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and blood. As a result, hair loss, nail loss, sore mouth, diarrhea and decreases in the blood cell counts may occur in patients receiving these treatments. It is not possible to prevent these effects, although many of the symptoms can be controlled or minimised.

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