When patients are newly diagnosed with cancer, their focus is on getting the cancer out of their bodies. They may not be listening as well as they might under less stressful circumstances. This can result in an inability to absorb and comprehend all the information provided to them related to side effects from various treatments. Nevertheless, risks and benefits are typically discussed before a patient agrees to any form of treatment, whether it be surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy, biologic targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.
Patients are usually relatively tolerant of the side effects of their cancer treatments. Although providers should make more of an effort to take measures to diminish these side effects, patients commonly accept these physical symptoms as part of what comes along with cancer care.