Keeping Track of Symptoms (The James)

Keeping Track of Symptoms (The James)


It is common to have side effects from cancer and cancer treatment. Each person may react differently to treatment. It is helpful if you keep track of your symptoms. Keeping notes can help you remember details when you talk to your doctor and health care team. They can give you information on ways to help manage your symptoms.


How to use this chart:

When you have a symptom or side effect, keep notes about it. You can use this chart or one of your own. If you are in a research study, you may have a different chart to use.

  • Write the date and time of day when your symptom or side effect happened.
  • Write down how long your symptom or side effect lasted.
  • Rate how bad your problem was by using numbers. You may use a “0 to 10” scale. On this scale zero (0) means the problem is gone; a “2” would mean the problem is mild; a”9” would mean the problem is very bad. A “10” would mean the problem was the worst possible.

  • Write what you did or what happened that made the problem better or worse. Note if it seems to happen at a certain time.
  • Write down if you called your nurse or doctor for advice or a prescription, and what they said or prescribed.


Use this chart to keep track of your symptoms or side effects and what helped.

Describe Your SymptomDate and Time
  • What made it better or worse?
  • How severe and how long it lasted.
  • What you did that helped or did not help.
  • Did you see a pattern or a cause?
List any treatment or medicines you took for this problem (dose/ how many)














































Tip: Bring these notes with you to talk with the doctor or nurse about symptoms and side effects.



© May 4, 2022. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.  

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.