Living with cancer

Side effects of treatment

Side effects vary from treatment to treatment and from person to person. You can find out more about coping with the effects of cancer and its treatment in our Coping with symptoms and treatment section.

Before receiving treatment

Before receiving any treatment, you may want to find out:

  • what sort of side effects there may be
  • how long the side effects may last
  • if there are ways to stop or reduce the side effects.

The side effects

Doctors can do a lot to reduce the unpleasant side effects of treatment. You can ask whether any of the following can help you:

  • Medication which makes you feel less sick.
  • Medication which can ease constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Medication to prevent or clear infections.
  • Medication or other things to control pain.
  • Adjusting your diet.
  • Changing your lifestyle and routines.


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.