Radiation therapy

What are the side effects of radiation therapy?

Specific side effects of radiation therapy that affect parts of the body Headaches. Hair loss . Nausea . Vomiting. Extreme tiredness ( fatigue ) Hearing loss. Skin and scalp changes. Trouble with memory and speech.

Is radiation therapy painful?

It is the most common radiation therapy treatment for cancer. Each session is quick, lasting about 15 minutes. Radiation does not hurt , sting, or burn when it enters the body. You will hear clicking or buzzing throughout the treatment and there may be a smell from the machine.

What should you avoid during radiation?

Foods to avoid or reduce during radiation therapy include sodium (salt), added sugars, solid (saturated) fats, and an excess of alcohol. Some salt is needed in all diets. Your doctor or dietitian can recommend how much salt you should consume based on your medical history.

What is the success rate of radiation therapy?

When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation . Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach.

Is radiation worse than chemo?

Radiation therapy involves giving high doses of radiation beams directly into a tumor. The radiation beams change the DNA makeup of the tumor, causing it to shrink or die. This type of cancer treatment has fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it only targets one area of the body.

Does radiation weaken your immune system?

Radiation therapy can potentially affect your immune system , especially if a significant amount of bone marrow is being irradiated because of its role in creating white blood cells. However, this doesn’t typically suppress the immune system enough to make you more susceptible to infections.

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How long is radiotherapy recovery?

The side effects of radiotherapy usually peak up to two weeks after treatment has finished. The effects of radiotherapy continue developing, and it may take a further couple of weeks to several months for you to feel normal, depending on the area of the body that has been treated.

How long after radiation do you start to feel better?

Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long . They may start during or right after treatment and last for several weeks after it ends, but then they get better . Late side effects, such as lung or heart problems, may take years to show up and are often permanent when they do .

How long does it take for radiation to shrink tumors?

For tumors that divide slowly, the mass may shrink over a long, extended period after radiation stops. The median time for a prostate cancer to shrink is about 18 months (some quicker, some slower).

Do you lose weight during radiation treatment?

Radiation and chemotherapy often cause a decrease in appetite. They can also lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores, which can affect your ability to eat normally, further contributing to weight and muscle loss .

Can you wear a bra during radiation?

Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and undergarments in the area being treated. Avoid tight clothing that will rub up against your skin, including underwire bras for women. Use only the moisturizers, creams, or lotions that you have discussed with your radiation oncologist or nurse.

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What food is good for radiation treatment?

After surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, extra protein is usually needed to heal tissues and help fight infection. Good sources of protein include fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans , peas and lentils, and soy foods.

Can u drink alcohol while having radiotherapy?

Alcohol during radiotherapy Usually it is fine to have small or moderate amounts of alcohol during your treatment. But alcohol can inflame a sore mouth or throat if you are having radiotherapy to your head or neck area.

Does radiation prolong life?

Summary: The first report from a phase II, multi-center clinical trial indicates that a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy — stereotactic radiation — can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life .

Can I drive after radiotherapy?

Will I be able to drive after my radiotherapy treatment ? Almost all patients are able to drive while receiving radiotherapy treatment . However, with some types of cancer, driving may NOT be recommended due to fatigue or strong pain medication. Your physician will be able to address your specific case.

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