How to manage Dizziness during cancer treatment


Dizziness during cancer treatment can either be a symptom of cancer or a side effect of various cancer treatments. Most patients encounter dizziness and light-headedness which range from temporary and mild to severe dizziness over a longer period.

What is dizziness?

Dizziness is the feeling of lack of balance or what feels like the spinning of a room which gets worse when one stands up. Dizziness during cancer treatment is a side effect of the various medications a patient may be undergoing. That doesn’t rule out the fact that cancer symptoms and signs can show similar effects.

However, it is not just cancer that can cause dizziness and feeling of fatigue all the time. There are several other causes of dizziness. Some of these causes may be easy to manage while some may need the professional services of an oncologist to treat or manage.

Note: While this blog will focus on how to deal with dizziness caused by cancer treatment, it is equally important to know how to deal with dizziness from other conditions and what precautions can help manage dizziness.

What causes dizziness during cancer treatment?

There are several causes for dizziness and light-headedness that could come and go unpredictably, sometimes each visit to the doctor completely eradicates the problem.

  • Chemotherapy

It is common for patients who have undergone chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment to experience dizziness.

  • Radiation

Dizziness after radiation primarily occurs if the beams are directed to the nervous system including the brain and the spine which are essential for body balance.

  • Anaemia

Cancer treatments and various other treatments may cause anaemia. Anaemia in turn leads to a deficiency of oxygen and nutrients which results in dizziness. Similarly, underfeeding, inadequate drinking of water, and vomiting may also lead to dizziness. Patients with tumors especially in the brain may also experience dizziness.

Additional causes of dizziness

Drug-related dizziness may go away after using medication for quite a while. It is for this reason that researchers have drawn a strong relationship between dizziness and cancer. It is important to understand that because there are several causes of dizziness, it can be difficult for doctors and patients to pinpoint the exact cause.

Besides, there is a possibility that other causes may co-exist therefore it is important to extensively understand the causes of dizziness and manage it.

Other causes of dizziness:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Fluctuating blood pressure
  3. Fluctuating blood sugar levels
  4. Ear disease or injury
  5. Heart problems
  6. Stroke

Below are recommendations on how cancer patients can manage dizziness

It is highly recommended that you contact your healthcare team in case dizziness persists for days. Your doctor will help establish the cause of your dizziness and provide the appropriate directions on how to manage it.

This is important since some symptoms coupled with others may imply serious illnesses such as stroke which need immediate attention.

Doctors may also provide palliative care for cancer patients to tackle cancer weakness and dizziness among other side effects. However, it is important to know how to cope with dizziness and light-headedness.

Managing dizziness during cancer treatment

  • Drink a lot of water (up to 10 glasses a day)
  • Avoid drinks with high caffeine levels
  • Do physical activities, such as walking and swimming but be cautious not to hurt yourself when doing these activities
  • When going up or down the stairs, support yourself with handrails
  • You could also consider using a walking stick for balance
  • Refrain from driving in case your dizziness persists
  • Avoid standing abruptly or changing positions too quickly
  • Observe your diet and proper nutrition


Do you have questions regarding cancer disease or other health issues?

Our experts are at your disposal on the OncoPower app and the OncoPower website. Here you can ask any question and access free guidelines from videos, in the Education Library section, created to specifically cover any of your concerns in particular. How can you access this crucial cancer information?

  1. Download the OncoPower app for Android
  2. Download the OncoPower Apple app for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac devices


This blog does not fully cover all the possible causes of dizziness and how to manage them. However, if your dizziness lasts longer than normal, talk to a doctor or get fast insights into the problem from our application, read from cancer websites. You may also watch our “managing dizziness in cancer patients” YouTube video and subscribe to the channel for timely notification once new resources are uploaded.

Onboard your practice or institution today!

Begin offering a comprehensive digital experience for your patients.