NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016
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
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
Brand name (sold as)
Type of treatment