The long-term effects of chemotherapy no one tells you about

Chemotherapy, as we’re all aware, is a harsher than hell drug that takes all sorts of tolls on the human body.

Granted, its ability to cure cancer arguably outweighs the negative side effects, but nonetheless, it is a very aggressive drug.

Both of my parents have had cancer in the past, though only my mother underwent chemotherapy when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, only a few years after she was diagnosed with it for the first time. My father had melanoma in his eye and fortunately only had to undergo radiation (and surgery, which my mother also had).

Over the past few years, my family and I have noticed that my mom’s hearing has started to deplete. We encouraged her to go for a hearing test, and upon discovering she had moderate to mild hearing loss, she asked the doctor why, considering she hasn’t necessarily lived a lifestyle in which hearing loss would be expected. The doctor informed her that a combination of genetics and also long-term chemotherapy effects are the main culprits of her hearing loss, so I wanted to do some more research about what chemotherapy can cause down the road, years after a person has been exposed to it.

Some examples of chemotherapy side effects that can present themselves at any point after receiving treatment include:

  • Fatigue/exhaustion
  • Pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Memory and learning issues
  • Lymphedema
  • Changes in the nervous system
  • Cancer reoccurrence
  • Weight changes
  • Thyroid issues
  • Problems with vision
  • Problems with oral health
  • Bladder issues
  • Bowel issues
  • Heart issues
  • Lung issues
  • Digestive issues
  • Fertility issues
  • Symptoms of menopause

And, while I’m no doctor, I would think that even more complications can arise, depending on each person who receives chemotherapy treatment.

I think cancer patients need more access to informative and educational resources regarding chemotherapy and the effects it can have on the body, either during or after treatment. So many people who undergo chemo are totally unaware of what may develop down the road, and the least we can do is keep them informed.

Photo on <a href=”″>Visual hunt</a>


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