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How long will side effects last after the end of neck cancer treatment. It is nine months since the end of my treatment of chemo and radio therapy. I am still experiencing fatigue and nausea.

Posted by

It is nine months since the end of my treatment for neck cancer. I am still experiencing nausea, fatigue and have problems felling the cold. I appreciate everyone is different but would like to know how long these side effects are likely to last.

Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi ,

Thanks for getting in touch with us and welcome to our Online Community.

Congratulations on finishing your treatment for your neck cancer, but it’s not so good that you’re still experiencing side effects 9 months later.

You’re right to say that everyone is different, and it can be difficult o predict how long side effects can last for an individual.

I’m not sure the type of treatment that you’ve had but it’s not uncommon for some people to have side effects that can last for many months after their treatments have finished.

Have you spoken to your hospital team about the side effects that you’re having? If not, it’s important that you to let them know so that you can be properly assessed.

There are many reasons that could be causing you to have nausea other than your cancer treatments, so it’s important that you’re reviewed by your doctor.

Our website has this information about things that can help to control nausea.

Feeling extremely tired (fatigue) is one of the most common side effects of head and neck cancer treatments. Sometimes, tiredness is linked to pain. It can also be because of:

·       depression

·       sleep problems

·       anaemia

·       under active thyroid.

If you’ve had radiotherapy for your neck cancer this can sometimes cause the thyroid gland to become underactive (hypothyroid). This can develop months or years after treatment.

The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck and makes hormones. These hormones control all the cells in our body so that it can work normally. If we do not produce enough thyroid hormones, the cells and organs in our body slow down.

Feeling tired and lethargic and being cold can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid.

It can be helpful to talk to others who have gone through a similar experience. There really is nothing quite like the support that you can get from others who know what it’s like. We have a very supportive head and neck group here on our Online Community that you can join.

If you’re able you can also give our Support Line a call on 0808-808-000, and talk to one of our nurses. Our lines are open every day from 8am till 8pm

Best wishes and take care

Ellen-Cancer Information Nurse Specialist.

Posted by

Hi Ellen

thank you for your message and the information therein. I shall be getting in touch with my cancer Nurse and Doctor in order t ry and get some answers


Posted by

Hi Ellen

sorry it’s taken some time to get back to you. I would like to thank you for the information you gave to me in my initial post, I requested a blood test from my GP and it turns out I have an under active Thyroid. I have been prescribed LevoThyroxine and have just begun this medication. Hopefully I will see some improvement in the comming weeks. Thank you.

steve x

Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by


Thanks for getting back in touch with us and letting us know how you got on after seeing your GP. I’m glad you found the information I posted earlier helpful,

An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is usually treated by taking daily hormone replacement tablets called levothyroxine.

Doctors usually start you on a low dose of levothyroxine, which may be increased gradually, depending on how your body responds. Some people start to feel better soon after beginning treatment, while others don't notice an improvement in their symptoms for several months.

Hopefully you will start to notice a difference in your symptoms in the coming weeks.

The British Thyroid Foundation have information about underactive thyroid gland that can be helpful to look at.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Cancer Information Nurse Specialist.