Health & Medical Lung Health

What are the Long Term Side Effects of Chemotherapy for Cancer Treatment

Updated March 12, 2015.

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See's Medical Review Board.

Previous Page: What Are Long Term Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

What Can You Do to Lower Your Risk?

Until we know more about long-term survivorship issues following chemotherapy for adults, there are a few things you can do:
  • Ask your oncologist about any late effects that you may expect from the particular chemotherapy drugs you were given. Are there any screening tests (for example, tests for heart problems, hearing loss, or osteoporosis) that she would recommend?

  • Keep a record of your chemotherapy regimen with you in case you see a physician who is unfamiliar with your medical history.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Make regular appointments with your dentist and eye doctor.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Let your doctor know if you experience any new symptoms or worsening of current symptoms you have.

For childhood cancer survivors, survivorship issues have been addressed in an excellent review:


American Cancer Society. Second Cancers Caused by Cancer Treatment. Updated 01/30/12.

American Society of Clinical Oncology. Cancer.Net. Late Effects. 08/09.

Hu, M. et al. Cancer therapies and bone health. Current Rheumatology Reports. 2010. 12(3):177-85.

Institute of Medicine. Cancer Survivorship Care Planning. Fact Sheet. November 2005.

National Cancer Institute. Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer. Chemotherapy Side Effects. 06/29/07.

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