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39

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016

4

Overview of cancer treatments Chemotherapy

taken, length of treatment, and the person. Some

people have many side effects. Others have few.

Some side effects can be very serious while others

can be unpleasant but not serious. Most side effects

appear shortly after treatment starts and will stop after

treatment. However, other side effects are long-term

or may appear years later.

In general, most side effects are caused by the death

of fast-growing cells. 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. Your nails

may also change in color, strength, dryness, and

smoothness.

Another common side effect of some chemotherapy

drugs is sensory neuropathy. Sensory neuropathy

is damage to sensory nerves. It can be caused by

oxaliplatin, paclitaxel, docetaxel, and 5-FU.

Symptoms of sensory neuropathy include numbness,

tingling, and pain in fingers and toes. You may also

have sensitivity to cold and pain to light touch. It may

take months or years for symptoms to resolve. For

some people, sensory neuropathy is permanent. Talk

with your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce the

symptoms of sensory neuropathy.

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.

Guide 2. Cancer drugs for esophageal cancer

Generic name

Brand name (sold as)

Type of treatment

Capecitabine

Xeloda

®

Chemotherapy

Carboplatin

Chemotherapy

Cisplatin

Platinol

®

Chemotherapy

Docetaxel

Taxotere

®

Chemotherapy

Epirubicin

Ellence

®

Chemotherapy

Etoposide

Etopophos

®

Preservative Free

Chemotherapy

Fluorouracil (5-FU)

Chemotherapy

Irinotecan

Camptosar

®

Chemotherapy

Oxaliplatin

Eloxatin

®

Chemotherapy

Paclitaxel

Taxol

®

Chemotherapy

Ramucirumab

Cyramza

®

Targeted therapy

Trastuzumab

Herceptin

®

Targeted therapy