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Chemo Odor 1+ years after last chemo?

Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2017

Hello, it has been a while since I have posted, but I am experiencing something weird, and I am hoping someone can help.  I was diagnosed with stage III endometrial adenocarcinoma and had a hysterectomy, 6 rounds of Taxol/carboplatin, and 25 days of radiation.  I have been in remission since May 2018.  While undergoing chemo treatment, I discovered that my body gave off an unpleasant odor that I attributed to the chemo.  It went away a few months after treatment.


Today, the chemo odor came back.  I thought I was going crazy, but I mowed the lawn, and after sweating, the odor was awful.  Has anyone else had something like this happen to them?  Or is it my cancer coming back?  I admit I am very worried...

Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2009

I haven’t heard of chemo odor other than say for example as a secondary result like an urinary tract infection or dry mouth secondary to chemo and compromised immune system. You might want to see your oncologist to make sure it’s nothing serious. It could also be related  to something you ate. Maybe keep track of your diet and hydration in relation to activity and the odor. It’s not normal so please seek a physician’s opinion. I don’t want to alarm you but have there been any other changes?  It could be your olofactory system (nose & brain)  if no one  else can smell an odor. Hope you find out the cause soon. It’s so anxiety provoking to wonder what the cause of the odor is. 


NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2914
Joined: Mar 2013

I noticed I had a heightened sense of smell when I was on chemo.  Walking down the detergent isle in the grocery store would burn my nose.  Not sure smelling (giving off an odor) would be a sign of cancer returning, although they say there are dogs who can detect cancer I am not sure how they know.  

Since dx and treatment were recent, I suspect you are still in your quarterly check-ins with the doctor?  Talk to them about your concerns.  Keep in mind, you said you smelled the odor while going through treatment, not prior to dx.  Maybe the other ladies here have some thoughts.

Posts: 263
Joined: Jan 2016


I was just going through some of my many notes I have acquired over the past five years on cancer.

Foul breath and body odor can indicate the presence of toxins in your body. You should talk to your
doctor about doing some comprehensive blood testing to determine the cause. I've read the
toxins could be in your gastrointestinal tract or liver (the main filter of our body). I wouldn't think
it is from chemo but just an accumulation of toxins that may have accumulated in your body. 
The liver and kidneys are key in detoxing our bodies.

Have you been using a probiotic to keep your but bacteria in balance?

 The toxins could be biological, chemical or metals. 


Armywife's picture
Posts: 452
Joined: Feb 2018

There you are,  TakingControl!  I haven't seen a post from you in a while and was just about  to post asking how you are!

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

I definitely had that odor.  I noticed I got a couple times too after a surgery.  It was a weird odor.  Very annoying 

Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2017

Thanks for the advice.  I have my regular appointment with my gyn/onc on Wednesday, and it includes bloodwork for CA125, which was elevated for me when I was diagnosed with my cancer.  That will be the true test as to if my cancer has returned.  The ofor is still apparent now, but not as strong as a few days ago, and my breath has no odor.  I am praying this is some sort of chemo flashback.

Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2017

Also, I have always had a heightened sense of smell, and I can smell odors that other people cannot - maybe that is why I can smell it but my family cannot.  Who knows?

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