Therapy for MDS can sometimes produce side effects. For most patients, treatment side effects are temporary and go away once therapy ends. For other patients, side effects can be more severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Some patients never have side effects.
Before you undergo treatment, talk with your doctor about potential side effects. Drugs and other therapies can prevent or manage many side effects.
Also, speak with your doctor about long-term and late effects of treatment.
Common Side Effects
Chemotherapy drugs are the main culprits when it comes to causing unwanted side effects. These drugs can kill cancer cells, but they damage normal cells, too. The lining of the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines are particularly vulnerable to damage.
The side effects you may experience depend on:
- the intensity of chemotherapy
- the drugs used during therapy
- your overall health and whether you have any chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease
Side effects common to chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation include:
- low blood cell counts
- mouth sores
- nausea and vomiting
- extreme fatigue
- hair loss
- tingling sensations
- lung, heart, kidney or nerve problems
- graft versus host disease (if you've undergone allogeneic stem cell transplantation)
Long-Term and Late Effects
For some patients, side effects may continue after treatment is completed. To read more about lingering side effects, see Long-Term and Late Effects of Treatment in Adults or Long-Term and Late Effects of Treatment in Children.
More to Explore
- Tips to prevent and manage side effects
- Well-being during treatment
- Download questions to ask your doctor about side effects
- Download questions to ask your doctor about pain management
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet Understanding Drug Therapy and Managing Side Effects