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Chemotherapy: Activity During Treatment

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Find out if working from home is an option.
You may have questions about how chemotherapy could affect the things you are used to in everyday life. Here are some answers to common questions, and some of the adjustments you may need to make.

Will I still be able to work?

Many people do still work during chemotherapy. If you find you have less energy, you may need to talk with your employer about adjusting your schedule. For example, it may help if you:

  • Work at home or reduce the number of hours you work.

  • Plan time off that fits best with your treatment cycle.

Should I exercise?

Ask your healthcare provider about starting exercise. It may help you sleep better and sometimes even help balance your appetite. It is also good for your sense of well-being. Make sure to:

  • Exercise when you feel most energetic.

  • Keep the pace moderate. Even small amounts of exercise can help. Instead of jogging, walk or ride a stationary bike.

Will chemo affect my sex life?

Chemotherapy can cause sexual changes in men and women, such as:

  • Changes in your desire to have sex. Hugging and cuddling may seem more important now.

  • Short-term or permanent infertility. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to have children. Men may want to bank, or freeze, sperm before starting chemotherapy. There are fertility-preserving options for women. Talk with your healthcare team before you start treatment.

  • Need for birth control. Most chemotherapy medicines can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Chemotherapy can also cause damage to sperm. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to use birth control during treatment.

Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Levy, Adam S, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
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