Chemotherapy: Common Questions About Activity During Treatment

You may have questions about how chemotherapy could affect the things you take for granted in everyday life. Here are some answers to common questions, and some of the adjustments you may need to make.

Man sitting at kitchen table working on laptop computer.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:

  • 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 doctor about starting an exercise program. It may help you sleep better and sometimes even helps control your appetite. It is also good for your sense of well-being:

  • 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 I Be Affected Sexually?

Chemotherapy can cause sexual changes in men and women:

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

  • Chemotherapy can cause short-term or permanent infertility. Talk to your doctor if you are planning on having children. Men may want to bank, or freeze, sperm.

  • Most chemotherapy drugs can cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to use birth control throughout treatment.