- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Managing chemotherapy side effects
- Other side effects
Other side effects
Some other common side effects of chemotherapy may include hearing problems and watery eyes.
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Some chemotherapy drugs can affect your hearing. Your doctor may recommend that you have a hearing test before you start treatment, and this may be repeated before each treatment cycle.
You may be at risk of losing the ability to hear high-pitched sounds. Sometimes, chemotherapy also causes a continuous ringing noise in the ears known as tinnitus. These changes can happen alone or together, and are usually temporary. Let your doctor know if you notice any change in your hearing.
This can be a symptom of a blocked tear duct, which can be caused by some chemotherapy drugs.
Regularly massaging the area and using eye drops can help clear blockages. Let your cancer care team know if this issue is ongoing.
Chemotherapy can affect your sense of smell and you may notice unpleasant smells more. Talk to your cancer care team if you are concerned about a change in body odour.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Clinical A/Prof Rosemary Harrup, Director, Cancer and Blood Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Queensland Health, QLD; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Stacey Burton, Consumer; Dr Fiona Day, Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Andrew Greig, Consumer; Steve Higgs, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT.
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