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25

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, Version 1.2017

3

Cancer treatments

Steroids | Targeted therapy

Common side effects of chemotherapy are:

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Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

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Nausea and vomiting

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Diarrhea

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Constipation

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Loss of taste

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Mouth sores

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Hair loss

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Not wanting to eat

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Low blood cell counts

Not all side effects of chemotherapy are listed here.

Side effects are usually grouped by whether they

are more or less likely to occur. Some side effects

can be long-term or appear years later like another

cancer, heart disease, or not being able to have

children (infertility). It is helpful to ask your doctor

for a complete list of side effects. Learn how you

can prevent and cope with possible side effects of

chemotherapy.

Steroids

Steroids are a type of drug that is often used to

relieve inflammation. Steroids are toxic to lymphoma

cells and therefore have strong anti-cancer effects.

Prednisone and dexamethasone are two of these

drugs.

See Guide 4.

Steroid is the short name for

corticosteroids.

Steroids are a part of some chemotherapy regimens.

They are given on the same days as chemotherapy

but only for a few days or a week. Most are pills, but

dexamethasone can also be injected. Side effects

can happen with steroids. However, most side effects

go away once the steroid is stopped.

Common side effects of steroids are:

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Feeling hungry

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Trouble sleeping

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Mood changes

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Slow wound healing

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Upset stomach

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Swelling in the ankles, feet, and hands

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Increased blood sugar

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Increased risk of infection

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapies are drugs that sometimes can

directly kill cancer cells. They may also affect the

chemical signals between different cells and stop

their growth. This treatment is less likely to harm

normal cells than chemotherapy. Targeted therapies

can be given alone or combined with other drugs.

These other drugs are chemotherapy or steroids to

treat WM. Common side effects are listed below.

Your doctor will have a complete list of side effects.

He or she will have information to share with you

about the types of targeted therapies and their

possible effects on your body.