Long term side effects during cancer survivorship

Surviving cancer is a huge accomplishment! You fought valiantly through months of cancer therapy and the side effects that came with it, but thankfully, you triumphed! However, just because you’ve reached the end of your treatment doesn’t mean cancer hasn’t left some long-term effects on your body and mind.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the transition from active cancer treatment to survivorship, as well as how to manage some of the long-term side effects.

What kind of long-term side effects can you expect after treatment?

Thanks to advancements in medicine, we are seeing more cancer fighters living into survivorship. However, there can be long-term side effects due to damage caused by the traumas of cancer and treatment. While most side effects improve after treatment, there are some that can be long-lasting or even become permanent.

The most common long-lasting side effects include:

  • Pain
  • Sensory Neuropathy – numbness, tingling, cold sensitivity, or pain in the hands or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Bowel Dysfunction

Pain and Neuropathy

 

Pain is very frequent in people who have had metastatic cancer. Pain and neuropathy can last for months after treatment has ended, and some patients have reported lingering neuropathy for years. If these side effects are interfering with your life, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your solutions. They may suggest specific treatment options or refer you to a pain management professional or physical therapist.

Fatigue

 

Many cancer survivors will experience fatigue far beyond the end of their cancer treatment. To help with fatigue, it is suggested to stay active during and after treatment. Exercise is important, so find something that you enjoy doing. It can be walking, biking, running, or taking an exercise class. Just make an active approach to consistently exercise. Studies show that cancer fighters who exercised daily experienced 40-50 percent reduced fatigue. Even though exercise can be daunting, it is important to keep your body moving.

 

Bowel dysfunction and Nutritional Deficiencies

Cancer treatment is effective at killing cancer cells, but it also harms the healthy cells that line your intestines. The healthy cells in your GI, called villi, oversee nutrient absorption. Many patients lose weight during treatment due to villi damage. Additionally, treatment can cause gaps to form between the healthy cells in the gut, allowing harmful toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This results in nausea, diarrhea, and overall fatigue. If not treated, these side effects can be long lasting.

Due to the long-term effects of cancer treatment, many cancer survivors will have bowel disfunction and malabsorption issues. Chronic diarrhea affects up to 49% of cancer survivors, with episodes lasting up to ten years following treatment. Radiation treatment can induce scarring or blunting of the villi in your gut, which can lead to issues with absorption and diarrhea.

Enterade: Feel better, for longer into survivorship

Enterade is a clinically proven, plant-based medical food that helps to manage the side effects from cancer treatment. Enterade has no known side effects and can help relieve discomfort from diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, dehydration, and unwanted weight loss. Enterade’s unique blend of plant-based amino acids helps by rebuilding the cells that line your intestines, fortifying your gut against the long-term damage caused by cancer treatments. Using Hydro Active Technology, enterade is formulated to hydrate better than leading sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions, and even water.

 

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