Side effects of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy side effects can depend on the type of chemotherapy you're receiving, and the type of cancer being treated. To help support you during your treatment, we have a range of interventions and therapies available.

Your consultant or chemotherapy nurse will explain the possible side effects of chemotherapy treatment. They'll be there with you every step of the way, with advice on how to manage these.

Our nurses and pharmacists have many years of experience. They understand what you’re going through and are here to give you expert advice and care. Thankfully, many side effects are short-term and soon pass when treatment stops.

We also offer complementary therapies and access to support groups that are proven to help people with cancer, through our partnership with the charity, Penny Brohn UK. They can help improve your quality of life during your treatment and beyond.

Everyone experiences side effects differently. If you have any concerns, or have a question that might not be answered below, please speak to our expert nurses and pharmacists. We're always happy to help.

Contact us today

0808 304 2332
0808 304 2332

We've put together a list of common chemotherapy side effects below, as well as links to helpful guides and further support. 

Top 7 myths about chemotherapy side effects

We know going through treatment can sometimes feel overwhelming, and you may have heard things about chemotherapy that you're unsure about. We've asked our expert head of nursing to debunk the top seven myths of chemotherapy side effects.

We’re here to support you

You may find that some of the side effects are mild, and you can manage them from home. However, we understand that sometimes, you’ll need support, and our chemotherapy nurses will be with you every step of the way. We often have medication to help ease side effects or other ways to support you and most side effects will slowly fade and stop once you finish chemotherapy.

Hilotherm® ChemoCare

Hilotherm® ChemoCare is a cooling therapy used to prevent side effects of:

  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)
  • Hand-foot syndrome (HFS)

During treatment, chemotherapy can sometimes cause damage to your nerve endings and tissue in your hands and feet. This can feel like tingling, numbness or pain that can persist after your chemotherapy has ended.

At GenesisCare, you may be offered Hilotherm ChemoCare alongside your chemotherapy, so we can help prevent these side effects from the very first step.

Hilotherm ChemoCare is a cooling system placed on your hands and feet using hand and foot cuffs. The cuffs cool your hands and feet to 15 - 17°C. Cooling your hands and feet slows the blood flow to them and is proven to reduce potential damage chemotherapy can cause to your nerves and tissue in those areas.

Find out more about Hilotherm® ChemoCare

Paxman scalp cooling

Paxman scalp cooling is a cold cap system that we use to help reduce hair loss during chemotherapy. Losing hair during chemotherapy is a common worry and can be a difficult side effect to experience.

By cooling your scalp between 18° and 22°C, it causes the blood vessels in your scalp to constrict, reducing the amount of chemotherapy that can reach them, limiting potential damage and hair loss.

Find out more about Paxman© scalp cooling