Will special precautions be needed to protect my family and others from radiation exposure during my treatment period? This happens between 2 weeks and 6 months after radiation therapy. Radiation therapy aimed at the stomach or abdomen may cause these side effects: These symptoms will likely go away after treatment. Stomach and abdomen. Radiation can also give rise to inflammation of the lungs, thus damaging the spinal cord. While there are no absolutes when it comes to how you will react to radiation therapy, these are the most common side effects of treatment: Fatigue Fatigue is perhaps the most common side effect of radiation therapy. Could this treatment affect my sex life? Reactions to the radiation therapy often start during the second or third week of treatment. That will allow your health care team to provide ways to help you feel better during and after treatment. Everyone’s experience with radiation therapy is different. If both ovaries receive radiation therapy, you may experience infertility. Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long. Because radiation therapy is a localized treatment, most side effects develop in the treatment area (for lung cancer, that is the chest). Common physical side effects of radiation therapy include: Skin changes. The treatment can be used to slow the spread of cancer and even reverse it in some cases. Who can I talk with if I'm feeling anxious or upset about having this treatment? According to the American Cancer Society, other common side effects and coping strategies that can be taken include: 1. Long-Term Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Studies show that over time, men who have undergone this procedure, tend to develop long-term side effects. Learn about ways to preserve fertility for men. Major long duration side effects of radiation therapy. Before treatment begins, ask what side effects are likely from the specific type of treatment you are receiving and when they may happen. And, continue talking with the team throughout your treatment. Radiation can affect your fertility. During treatment, your doctor can prescribe medicine to manage these side effects. Whether you might have late effects, and what they might be, depends on the part of your body that was treated, other cancer treatments you've had, genetics, and other factors, such as smoking.Ask your doctor or nurse which late effects you should watch for. Rarely, it may be necessary to wait until the skin heals before continuing chemotherapy. Skin issues. Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have a child? The risk of this late effect is low. You may experience no side effects, or you may experience several. Your health care team can help you prevent or relieve many side effects. Telangiectasia is a condition where tiny blood vessels are broken right underneath the skin, and is commonly known as… Head and neck. Radiation therapy side effects depend on which part of your body is being exposed to radiation and how much radiation is used. Radiation therapy like any other treatment has its side effects too and before getting radiation it is important for the person to speak to the doctor on the possible side effects and how long they will last. Side effects from radiation are usually caused by irritation of normal tissue in the treatment area. Here are 5 side effects you must know about. Like many types of cancer treatment, radiation therapy can cause side effects and have a profound impact on patients. Side effects vary from person to person, even when given the same type of treatment. Our syndication services page shows you how. Radiation side effects. The side effects from radiation can be lifelong issues that are sometimes life-threatening. Want to use this content on your website or other digital platform? Radiation side effects About the study What this means for you. Ask your health care team about ways to take care of yourself during the treatment period, including getting enough rest, eating well, and staying hydrated. A study of breast cancer patients treated with radiation found that it was common for treatment side effects such as pain, itchy skin, swelling and fatigue to go unrecognized. And during and after treatment, let your health care team know how you are feeling on a regular basis. These are commonly reported side effects across all the cancers. After treatment is completed, the body will begin to heal this damage, and with the possible exception of salivary function, things will return to normal. One possible late effect is the development of a second cancer. For example, radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy may result in more fatigue. Damage to healthy cells can cause side effects. Unfortunately, this damage isn't isolated to cancer cells alone, and normal cells can be damaged as well. The radiation used to destroy cancer cells can also hurt normal cells in the area that is radiated. This may occur within 1 to 6 months after the therapy has been stopped. Chest:Difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, breast or nipple soreness, shoulder stiffness 3. What to Expect When Having Radiation Therapy, National Cancer Institute: Radiation Therapy Side Effects. Discuss this chart with your doctor or nurse. While cancer cells are particularly sensitive to radiation and are irreparably damaged by it, normal tissue cells have the ability to repair themselves after being exposed to radiation. How can these side effects be prevented or managed? You may have even forgotten about your cancer therapy after so long, but some problems can jump in from nowhere leading to certain health issues. General side effects of radiation treatment can happen when radiation is given to any area of the body, but they depend on a number of things, including the specific area or organs being treated, the size of the area being treated and the type of radiation treatment being administered. Fatigue is feeling exhausted and worn out. Radiation therapy aimed at the pelvis may cause these side effects: Incontinence, which is when a person is not able to control his or her bladder, Sexual problems for men, such as erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to get or maintain an erection. Symptoms may include redness, tenderness, swelling, wet sores, and peeling skin. Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, especially those diagnose… Pelvic area:Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, incontinence, or bladder irritation In addition, men and women may experi… Urinary and Bladder Problems Keep in mind that side effects vary from person to person, even among people receiving the same type of cancer treatment. What physical side effects are likely based on my specific radiation therapy treatment plan? To see which side effects you might expect, find the part of your body being treated in the following chart. You may experience radiation therapy side effects that are specific to the type of treatment you are receiving based on the type of cancer you have. And the risk is often smaller than the benefit of treating the first cancer. These are called long-term or late effects. Side effects from radiation treatment can vary, depending on the area of the body being treated. High doses of radiation therapy are used to destroy cancer cells. All of these can be treated. Radiation therapy is a treatment for cancer. Other radiation therapy side effects you may have depend on the part of the body that is treated. 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