Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause varying degrees of side effects. It is usually necessary to provide supportive care to achieve the full effect of treatment and/or relieve problems related to treatment experienced by the patient.
Chemotherapy may cause
- Varying degrees of nausea. Adequate prophylaxis and treatment is critical. Read more
- Change in bone marrow function, especially granulocytopoiesis. This may in some cases lead to the need for stimulation of bone marrow to complete treatment. Read more
- Tumor lysis syndrome occurs most frequently after chemotherapy in patients with relatively large tumor masses and high cell proliferation. Read more
- Febrile neutropenia arises from a reduced immune system. Fever is often the only symptom. Read more
Radiation therapy may cause
- Nausea, which is intensified with chemotherapy. It is normal for patients to lose 5-6 kg from poor appetite during treatment. Read more
Men who will have chemotherapy or radiotherapy under the diaphragm must be informed of the possibility of sperm banking.
Ovarian tissue banking
Ovarial-tissue-freezing is still considered experimental and is carried out at the section for in vitro fertilization, at Oslo University Hospital. Only a few children are born worldwide after reimplantation of ovarian tissue. An entire ovary or large pieces of an ovary is removed and frozen. After freezing and thawing, sections of subcapsular ovarian tissue is implanted in the remaining ovary, skin, or freely in the abdominal cavity for later hormone stimulation and IVF. The upper age limit is 35 for extraction. Patients appropriate for this procedure are young women who will undergo treatment with a significant (>50%) chance for infertility such as autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation and radiation therapy to the pelvic region and where the ovaries cannot be relocated out of the radiation field by ovariopexy.
Since the procedure itself poses an increased risk for premature menopause and infertility, it should not be offered to women who will complete more ordinary chemotherapy.