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What to Know About Side Effects For Cancer Treatment

Whether it is you or a loved one, a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering diagnosis to experience. You may have a lot of questions on the treatment options presented by the oncologist. One of the most common questions is: what will be the side effects of cancer treatment?

It is essential to have open and honest conversations with your oncologist. Finding a trusted cancer clinic for your care will be a priority. You will want to make sure the provider explains the benefits to therapies presented and possible outcomes and side effects.

Radiofrequency ablation for cancer and intratumoral immunotherapy are treatment options for cancer that may be unfamiliar. In this article, we will discuss the side effects of these cutting edge therapies.

Radiofrequency ablation Side Effects

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a treatment option, used for over 18 years for nerve-related chronic pain and cardiac arrhythmias. It is now a treatment option for many cancers, including bone, lung, liver, and kidney tumors.

There are four minor side effects of RFA therapy to be aware of:

  • Pain
  • Temporary numbness or burning
  • Transient pain at the injection site
  • Infection at the injection site

In rare cases, the following more severe side effects may occur:

  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Motor deficits
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Severe pain
  • Allergic reactions to medication

Pain is the most common side effect experienced. You may feel pain in the muscles around the area of RFA therapy due to muscle spasms. The problem is temporary and usually not severe.

Often, your oncologist may recommend multiple treatment options to treat cancer. Intratumoral Immunotherapy is another commonly prescribed method to target tumors.

Immunotherapy Side Effects

There are two major types of immunotherapy:

  1. Treatments that add new disease-fighting cells to your body (T cells);
  2. Treatments that add other elements to your own immune system (such as antibodies, cytokines, and others).

Many immunotherapy agents are experimental or investigational and are only available by enrolling in clinical trials. For more information about Is Immunotherapy for Cancer Safe?, click here.

Immunotherapy may cause side effects as the immune system heightens to fight cancer cells. Unfortunately, healthy cells and tissues may also be affected.

There are six common side effects to immunotherapy to be aware of:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Rash

Other symptoms may be flu-like symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness

Other more uncommon side effects to Intratumoral Immunotherapy to be aware of include:

  • Swelling or weight gain from fluid retention
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Sinus congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Risk of infection
  • Organ inflammation

It is important to note that the side effects experienced will vary based upon the type of therapy received. Other factors, such as underlying health conditions or age, may also influence treatment’s side effects.

It is important to discuss your health and family history with your oncologist. Together, you will be able to develop the best treatment plan individualized to your needs so you will have the best outcome.

Learn more about Intratumoral Immunotherapy at Williams Cancer Institute

If you would like to discuss side effects of radiofrequency ablation and intratumoral immunotherapy, contact our cancer expert, Dr. Williams. Dr. Jason Williams has expertise in interventional radiology, immunology, cancer, and cancer immunotherapy.

At Atlanta Cancer Institute, we offer advanced and efficient cancer treatment options. Williams Cancer Institute combines innovative cancer treatment, cryoablation, intratumoral immunotherapy, and radiofrequency ablation to yield successful results.

If you or a loved one has questions or concerns regarding cancer treatment options, contact us at Williams Cancer Institute.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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