What to Expect During Treatment
You’ve begun or are soon to begin your cancer treatment. You want to prepare and know what to expect. New questions may arise about how you’ll feel and look. These are common concerns. We’ll guide you through common cancer treatment experiences.
How your body changes. Cancer and cancer treatment can change how you look, how you feel, and how you go about your daily life tasks. These changes may be temporary, but some may last. Know that, as difficult as they are, some changes are common in people going through cancer treatment and recovery. They include:
- Surgery scars
- Hair loss resulting from radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Decrease in strength and endurance
- Memory loss and decreased concentration
- Burning, numbness, or tingling in hands and feet
- Mouth sores and teeth problems
- Weight gain or loss
- Appetite loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Menopause symptoms
- Anxiety, fear, anger, and depression
Your experience with your body may change. Your perception of yourself and your abilities may shift. That’s natural.
Discuss any changes you notice with your doctor to help get the support you need.
One thing within your control is your diet. Being mindful of your diet helps you manage many of your cancer treatment side effects. Certain foods can help you manage your nausea as well as your fatigue.
Also consider these ways to eat during your cancer treatment:
- Follow your diet outlined by your doctor closely. It will include food types, quantity, and even the times of day to eat.
- Maintain a record of your food and liquid intake including what you ate, when, and how much. Share this log with your doctor.
- Tell your friends and family about your dietary restrictions and allowances so they can support you.
- Make notes in your food record about any changes in the way food tastes to you and the way you digest food. Be sure to share this information with your doctor.