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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Brain Cancer – Gliomas, Version 1.2016


Test and treatment overview


appear shortly after treatment starts and will stop

after treatment. However, other side effects are long-

term or may appear years later.

For systemic chemotherapy, most side effects are

caused by the death of fast-growing cells in the

body. These cells are found in the blood, gut, hair

follicles, and mouth. Thus, common side effects of

chemotherapy include low blood cell counts, not

feeling hungry, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss,

and mouth sores. Ask your doctor which drugs cause

which side effects.

Side effects of carmustine wafers somewhat differ

from systemic chemotherapy. A common side effect

is new or worse seizures in the days following

surgery. Other side effects include swelling in

the brain, problems with wound healing, nausea,

vomiting, constipation, and depression. Sometimes,

cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Brain infections like

meningitis are rare.

Not all side effects of chemotherapy are listed here.

Please ask your treatment team for a complete list of

common and rare side effects. If a side effect bothers

you, tell your treatment team. There may be ways to

help you feel better. There are also ways to prevent

some side effects. Read the

NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Nausea and Vomiting

to learn about

preventing and managing these symptoms.

Helpful Tips


You have a higher chance of being

sick. Think about telling those around

you to please keep their distance. A

simple cold can turn into bronchitis or

pneumonia for you.


You can experience constipation.

Use a stool softener and a natural

slow laxative. Drink plenty of liquids.