Possible side effects of Chemotherapy

Chemo drugs attack cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, such as those in the bone marrow, the lining of the mouth and intestines, and the hair follicles, also divide quickly. These cells are likely to be affected by chemo too, which can lead to side effects. Some men have many side effects while other men may have few.

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of drugs, the amount taken, and the length of treatment. Some of the most common possible side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite (or increased appetite)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood cell counts

Chemo can affect the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, which can lead to:

  • Increased chance of infections (from too few white blood cells)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (from too few blood platelets)
  • Fatigue (from too few red blood cells or other reasons)

These side effects are usually short-term and go away after treatment is finished. It’s important to let your health care team know if you have any side effects, as there are often ways to lessen them. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Several other side effects are also possible. Some of these are only seen with certain chemotherapy drugs. Your cancer care team will give you information about the possible side effects of the specific drugs you are getting. These effects are as follows:



Heart damage

Hand-foot syndrome

Chemo brain

Increased risk of leukemia

Feeling unwell or tired




Hormone therapy for breast cancer in men

Targeted therapy for breast cancer in men

Bone-directed therapy for breast cancer in men


Coping and support for male breast cancer


Related Topics

Benign breast conditions

General breast cancer terms

Types of breast cancer in men







Oncologists, Breast Surgeons are the specialists who deal with the breast cancer