Incidence and Mortality
Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States after lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and lymphoma. It is the third most common cancer in men but only the eleventh most common cancer in women. Of the roughly 70,000 new cases annually, about 53,000 are in men and about 18,000 are in women. Of the roughly 15,000 annual deaths, over 10,000 are in men and fewer than 5,000 are in women. The reasons for this disparity between...
Blood cells. Blood cells fight infection, cause the blood to clot, and carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When blood cells are affected by chemo, you are more likely to get infections and to bruise or bleed easily. And you are likely to have less energy during treatment and for some time afterward.
Hair cells and cells that line the digestive tract. After treatment with chemotherapy, you may lose your hair and have other side effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or mouth sores.
Fatigue is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Some people notice that they feel a little more tired than usual, and other people feel completely out of energy. After treatment is finished, this fatigue goes away over time.
Chemotherapy can damage your nervous system. You may notice tingling or a lack of feeling in your hands or feet, or shaking or trembling. These problems usually get better after treatment.
Some people have a mild decline in the ability to think, learn, reason, and remember (cognitive function) during the first years after some types of chemotherapy. This is often called chemo brain. Cognitive function can take a few years to return to normal.
With modern chemotherapy, long-term side effects are rare. But there have been cases in which the heart is damaged and second cancers such as leukemia have developed.
Some chemotherapy can damage the ovaries. If the ovaries fail to produce hormones, you may have symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Your periods may become irregular or may stop. And you may not be able to become pregnant.
But some women are still able to become pregnant during treatment. Because some chemo medicines cause birth defects and the effects of other chemo drugs on a fetus are not known, it is important to talk to your doctor about birth control before your treatment begins. After treatment, some women regain their ability to become pregnant. But for most women older than age 35, infertility is likely to be permanent.