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Chemotherapy Side Effects: Kidneys and Bladder


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© American Cancer Society 2010
Some chemo drugs can irritate your bladder or cause short- or long-term kidney damage. They may also cause your urine to change color (orange, red, or yellow) or to take on a strong or medicine-like odor. For a short time, the color and odor of semen may be changed, too.

Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that might be a sign of a problem. Watch for these signs and symptoms:

  • Pain or burning when you urinate.
  • Urinating a lot.
  • A feeling that you must urinate right away.
  • Reddish or bloody urine (Some chemo drugs will change the color of your urine. Tell your doctor or nurse if this happens).
  • Fever.
  • Chills.

Drink plenty of fluids to ensure good urine flow and help prevent problems. Water, juice, coffee, tea, soup, soft drinks, broth, ice cream, popsicles, and gelatin also count as fluids.

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