Any cancer treatment can cause side effects. Proper medical care will lessen the impacts of the side effects. Before undergoing any pancreatic cancer treatment, ask your doctor about potential side effects to learn how they may affect you. Update your doctor if you start experiencing side effects so they can help you to relieve or reduce those effects.
- Fatigue – often caused by an extreme lack of energy. Most pancreatic cancer patients experience this effect. The level of fatigue differs from one person to another.
- Nausea and vomiting – if you are undergoing chemotherapy, then you will most likely experience nausea and vomiting. Specific treatments also have these effects. The effects might happen immediately after surgery or several days after.
- Stool changes – these treatments affect your digestive system leading to constipation or diarrhea. Some of these effects will make your stool change in color.
- Mouth sores – some treatments produce sores on the lips, tongue, gums, or the surface of the mouth.
- Neuropathy – This is a side effect that develops numbness, burning in the hands and feet, tingling, and constipation.
- Pain – Some treatments subject patients to extreme pressure and pain. Some of these treatments are radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
- Skin and nail changes – changes such as inflammation may occur during treatment. Certain treatments cause redness, dryness, tenderness, and peeling of soles and palms.
- Taste and Appetite changes – Surgery and treatments such as immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can cause changes in how food tastes. Patients also may develop a poor appetite that can make them lose weight.
Pancreatic cancer treatment, just like any other treatment, can cause mild to severe side effects. Your help care team will help you manage these side effects, although most of them are common among patients. Anytime you feel overwhelmed, seek medical attention.