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What to Expect After Chemotherapy for Esophageal Cancer

The side effects of chemotherapy are different for everyone. They depend on these things.

  • The type of drug you’re taking

  • How often you take it

  • How long your treatment lasts

Your medical oncologist and chemotherapy nurse will talk with you about possible side effects with your treatment.

Here are some typical side effects for the most commonly used chemotherapy drugs for esophageal cancer. You should talk with your healthcare team about which ones are most likely to happen for you.

  • Appetite loss

  • Blood clots

  • Bruising

  • Diarrhea or upset stomach

  • Dry skin

  • Fatigue

  • Fluid retention

  • Hair loss

  • Heart side effects (rarely)

  • Mouth sores

  • Nausea, with or without vomiting

  • Reduced counts of white cells, red cells, or platelets, as noted by blood tests

  • Taste changes

  • Thick and discolored nails

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet

  • Weight loss or gain

These side effects will go away during rest periods between treatments and after your treatment ends. Ask your doctor for ways to ease these side effects. For instance, there are drugs that ease nausea and vomiting.