- What is head and neck cancer?  
- How does cancer arise?
- What causes head and neck cancer?  
- Can cancer of the head and neck be cured?  
- Symptoms of head and neck cancer  
- Referral to a specialist
- Diagnosis of head and neck cancer  
- Stage and grade of cancer  
- Treatment for head and neck cancer  
- Follow-up after treatment  
- Clinical trials

 

Side effects

Some people are able to lead an almost normal life during their chemotherapy, while others become very tired and have unpleasant side effects, such as feeling sick. Although side effects may be hard to cope with at the time, it will help to remember the side effects are temporary and will disappear once your treatment is completed.

Anticancer drugs may temporarily reduce the number of cells in your blood, which can increase the likelihood of getting infections and makes you feel tired. Your blood will be regularly tested and you will be given antibiotics to treat any infections. You may also be given transfusion to boost your blood cells and/or growth factors to encourage the formation of more blood cells

You may feel, or be, sick, but there are drugs (anti-emetics) that can help with this unpleasant side effect. Some anticancer drugs may make your mouth sore and cause small mouth ulcers, which can be helped with regular mouthwashes. If you lose your appetite, meals can be replaced or supplemented with nutritious, high-calorie drinks available on prescription. You may also get diarrhoea, which can be helped by medicines. You may also lose your hair – but if you do it will grow back within a few months. If you want to use a wig, please ask your nurse or doctor as you may be entitled to a free one.