Cancer survivors often report a number of long term side effects of their treatment. If you have undergone lymphedema then you may have problems moving your limbs and also suffer from joint pain. Removal of lymph nodes causes the build-up of fluid in your joints. This often leads to swelling and pain in the joints. Sometimes, the side effects are only apparent years after the cancer has been removed. Those survivors who had their limbs amputated due to surgery may suffer from phantom-limb syndrome.
There are also drugs that cause lung damage in survivors. Survivors who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the lungs, often face lung damage. Some types of cancer treatment methods also affect the patient’s endocrine system. Surgical removal of a woman’s ovaries, hormone therapy and chemotherapy to the pelvic area leads to early menopause.in women.
Some survivors may face also face problems like Osteoporosis. Cancer survivors who do not lead a physically active life are more prone to this problem. Osteoporosis can be minimised if the survivor reduces the intake of alcohol, leads a physically active life and eats foods which are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy can lead to long-term changes in the nervous system of the patient. Chemotherapy drugs can lead to hearing loss in patients. Children who have undergone Radiation therapy to the brain often report learning difficulties. Patients are also at a higher risk of having a stroke if they have received radiation therapy treatment to the brain. It is vital for cancer survivors to have regular physical examinations, hearing tests and X-rays to check for long term effects.