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Supportive care in oncology Learning Zone

Transcript: How do the side effects of cancer treatment impact on patient quality of life

Last updated:20th May 2024
Published:20th May 2024

Dr Matti Aapro

All transcripts are created from interview footage and directly reflect the content of the interview at the time. The content is that of the speaker and is not adjusted by Medthority.


The side effects of treatment are extremely variable, depending on the treatment type. The first point that I would like to make about side effects is that patients fear the side effects, even when they will have a treatment that doesn't have that many side effects. Because for the time being, if you look at the media, they report a lot about either the negative side effects of cancer treatment, or then there's a huge hype about some new treatments. But, the reality is that the side effects that patients might have, as I said, depend on what they receive. And, these can vary from a high risk of having nausea and vomiting. Usually today, quite well prevented. To risks of neutropenia, of anaemia. And, then overall, there can be some general side effects which are multifactorial, like the fatigue that the patients will tell us about on the various types of anti-cancer treatment. So, there's a huge amount of potential negative aspects for the patients, which of course will deteriorate their quality of life. And sometimes, influence the adherence to the treatment.

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