NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Ovarian Cancer - page 44

Part 5: Treatment with cancer drugs
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Ovarian cancer
Version 1.2013
Side effects
A side effect is an unplanned physical or emotional response to treatment. Side effects of chemotherapy depend on the
drug, amount taken, length of treatment, how the drug is given, and the person. In general, side effects are caused by
the death of fast-growing cells, which are found in the gut, mouth, and blood. As a result, common side effects include:
• Loss of appetite,
• Nausea and vomiting,
• Mouth sores,
• Hair loss,
• Fatigue,
• Increased risk of infection,
• Bleeding or bruising easily,
• Nerve damage (neuropathy), and
• Anemia.
Certain chemotherapy drug combinations have different and sometimes more severe side effects. For example,
the combination of docetaxel and carboplatin is more likely to increase the risk of infection. The combination of
paclitaxel and carboplatin is more likely to cause nerve damage (neuropathy). Chemotherapy given in the abdomen
(IP chemotherapy) generally causes more severe side effects, which include infection, fatigue, kidney damage,
abdominal pain, and neuropathy. An important part of cancer care is to treat and prevent these side effects if possible.
So, be sure to tell your doctor about any side effects you have.
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