Managing cancer and treatment symptoms

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Both cancer and cancer treatments can cause a range of symptoms. Find out why this is and hear from other teens about their experiences.

Key points

  • Both cancer and cancer treatments can cause a range of symptoms, which may be difficult to manage.
  • Treatments are meant to destroy cancer cells, but sometimes affect normal cells as well, which can cause side effects or symptoms.

For more videos regarding teens and cancer, please visit the Teens Taking Charge Cancer playlist.

You already know that cancer can take a toll on your body. The disease itself, and the treatments you need, can cause a range of symptoms that might sometimes be hard to manage.

Your health-care team will tell you that your cancer treatment may have a number of side effects. Experiencing side effects does not mean that you received the wrong treatment, that your health care provider made a mistake, or that your treatment isn’t working. You need the treatment to get rid of your cancer.

While treatment is meant to destroy cancer cells, it can also affect normal cells, such as those involved with thinking and remembering things and with digesting food. But even though the treatment may seem hard to deal with at times, it works toward the ultimate goal – making you cancer free.

The following pages will describe some of the symptoms you may experience in more detail. If you are experiencing symptoms, talk to your health-care team.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019