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What are the long-term side effects of chemo treatments?

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The long-term effects of chemo treatments include various heart complications, lung problems, issues with the hormone system and problems with the digestion system, says the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The side effects mostly depend on the type of treatments the patient receives.

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Heart problems that can result from the long-term effects of chemo treatments include inflamed heart muscles, heart disease and congestive heart failure, notes the ASCO. The likelihood of heart problems can increase if the individual was on certain types of medication during treatment.

Individuals who received chemo treatments in the past may experience trouble breathing, thickened lung lining, swollen lungs and a decrease in overall lung efficiency, says the ASCO. Such lung problems are common for a person who received chemo treatments to the chest or took certain prescription drugs.

Possible long-term effects on the female hormone system include no longer menstruating and having fewer regular menstrual cycles, states the ACO. Men may experience symptoms associated with menopause. Receiving chemo treatments to the neck and head can lower a person's hormone levels or alter the thyroid gland.

Cancer survivors should receive regular checkups after chemo treatments so these long-term effects can quickly be identified and treated, notes the ASCO.

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