Living with cancer

Managing symptoms and treatment

Each type of cancer treatment is associated with particular side effects. Some side effects, like fatigue, are experienced by almost everyone while other side effects are much less common.

It is important to know what to expect with your own treatment plan. You may experience more or less side effects than someone else may, even if they are having the same treatment, because everyone reacts differently. Taking control of side effects is a step towards becoming an active partner in your own treatment and general wellbeing.

You are unlikely to experience every possible side effect. Being aware of what might happen can help reassure you that certain side effects are ‘normal’ and better prepare you for dealing with them. Most importantly, being better informed may enable you and your healthcare team to prevent or proactively manage any side effects so that they are less likely to disrupt your treatment or decrease your quality of life.

When it comes to monitoring how you feel and noticing any changes or problems as soon as they arise you are an expert. If you are well informed about side effects you will be able to work together with your healthcare team to deal with them quickly and effectively.

This section will help you to find out more about how you can help yourself to manage symptoms and side effects and to identify sources of help if you are struggling to cope. You can find more detailed information about symptoms for particular cancers by visiting our Cancer types section.

If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.