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 theNCCN Guidelines for Patients: Nausea and Vomiting
to learn about
preventing and managing these symptoms.
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.