later side effects from chemo

Hi i have been reading lots on the internet about side effects later in life due to chemo and its worrying me sick. It says about heart problems and lung problems and i dont know wether or not to carry on with my last 3 weekly taxol and radiotherapy. Any one else had this worry…?

Hi I’m sorry that you are worrying. If you are already undergoing chemo then it might make sense to finish the course - after all you’ve already been exposed to chemo if there are any later side effects possible (and the chances are probably very slim). I would discuss this with your oncologist. He or she will be able to give you a rough idea of the chances of a recurrence if you stop the chemotherapy early compared with the statistical chances of heart or lung issues later in life.

You ask if anyone else has this worry. I am not worried about the side effects of chemo later in life because my cancer is stage 3c and therefore has quite a high chance (compared to the lesser stages) of recurring within the next ten years - therefore I may not be around later in life anyway. I’m also not worried as several years in the future medical advances may be possble that could relieve the side effects you refer to.

I am however worried about the side effects of my current chemo - Taxol - as it can cause numbness and pins & needles in the feet and hands which very rarely continue after the chemo has ended. But I still wouldn’t consider stopping chemotherapy (just had 1st dose of  weekly low dose Taxol yesterday after 4 doses of EC previously). I hope you can arrange an appt to discuss your worries with your oncologist or medical team and that you have a friend or family member who can go with you.


Hi Boodles


This is the subject that kept me awake at nights and almost stopped me from having chemo in the first place.  In the end I decided that I had to cope with what is happening now and deal with it in the only way available at this time.  If a magic fairy came up to me and offered me 15 years of good health now I would jump at it.  So if the chemo gives me a further cancer 15 years down the line I will deal with it then.  Medical science will have moved on etc.  Yes there is a chance of heart problems with FEC but it is a slim chance and slimmer then my chance of recurrence without chemo so I decided to go for it.  It is such a personal decision that only you can decide I’m afraid - hope this is someway helps xx

Hi Boodles, I do echo what the previous posters say. For me I’m balancing the cancer which is here now with the possibilities of future problems. But the other side of my scales is two primary aged children and I will do all that is necessary to be here as long as possible for my kids - so chemo it is. I’ve just had my 5th today with one more to go before radiotherapy. 

But it is something you need to be sure of for yourself and I think you should talk to your oncologist so you can make the right decision for you - we are all different and the right decision for one person may not be the right one for another. Take care and do what is right for you.

Take care and big hugs., xxxx

Thankyou all so much for your caring and helpful comments. I spoke to my BCN today who is arranging for me to spk to my oncologist. I have been so possitive throughout this and then a bit too much internet reading gave me a dreadful sleepless night last night. Josie i must be at the same level as you but instead of my 5th and 6th 3 weekly chemo , they changed me to the last 6 weekly taxol. So i have 3 more to go and then radiotherapy. … i think i have to stop reading and get on with it and thankyou all again for your kind words. It can be such a hard time when things get stuck in our head and play on our minds … hope you all have a lovely weekend xxx

Hi Baz, how did you find the weekly taxol, i have had 3 now with 1 weeks break after my 2nd 1 because i had an infection. But have found them a lot better than the taxotere, my main side effect was bad headaches. Hope you have managed yours ok . X