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Tips for Feeling Your Best During Treatment for Oral Cancer

When you are being treated for oral cancer, it’s likely that you will have side effects from that treatment and, perhaps, also symptoms of the disease itself. For instance, the cancer itself can cause symptoms if the tumor causes pain or makes it difficult to talk, eat, or breathe. The treatments to destroy cancer cells can harm healthy cells at the same time, and that means treatment can cause side effects.

Side effects can affect each person differently. Some people have none, while others may have many. Some side effects may change over time, while others stay the same. Some may be temporary, while others may be permanent.

When side effects occur, they can interfere with your day-to-day life. These side effects can range from fatigue and hair loss to more serious problems, such as a low platelet count (called thrombocytopenia) and nerve damage. Some side effects may make other symptoms feel worse. For example, if you’re depressed or not sleeping well, you may be tired. As a result, your pain may feel worse. Getting relief from one side effect may help others.