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What to Expect After Targeted Therapy for Colorectal Cancer

Side effects of targeted therapy are somewhat different for everyone. They also vary based on which drug you receive. Ask your oncologist or chemotherapy nurse for more details about possible side effects. Tell your doctor or nurse about any changes or side effects you notice as they can suggest things to make you feel better. In most cases, you’ll stop having side effects within a few weeks after your treatment ends. Below is a list of some of the possible side effects:

  • Acnelike skin changes - treatment can’t prevent these skin changes, but there are some ways to make them less noticeable.

  • Allergic reactions - if you have a reaction, it will likely be temporary and treatable. Your doctor will decide if you can continue to receive this type of medication.

  • High blood pressure - your doctor can treat this with antihypertensive medications.

  • Increased chance of blood clotting - your doctor will monitor you for this side effect.

  • Increased chance of an opening occurring in the stomach or intestine, called gastrointestinal perforation - report right away any new pain, constipation, or vomiting you have.

  • Increased chance for healing delay in surgical wounds - if you notice that you have any wounds that are not healing well, you should let your doctor or nurse know.

  • Increased chance of bleeding, especially from the nose or gums.

  • Less energy during and for a while after treatment, called fatigue.

  • Spilling of protein in the urine - your doctor will check a urine sample before your treatment to see if there is too much protein in it.