Early And Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy
- Early side effects happen during or shortly after treatment. These side effects tend to be short-term, mild, and treatable. Theyre usually gone within a few weeks after treatment ends. The most common early side effects are fatigue and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area.
- Late side effects can take months or even years to develop. They can occur in any normal tissue in the body that has received radiation. The risk of late side effects depends on the area treated as well as the radiation dose that was used. Careful treatment planning can help avoid serious long-term side effects. Its always best to talk to your radiation oncologist about the risk of long-term side effects.
A Haifa Company Named Pluristem Has Been Researching Ars For Years And Found A Way To Cope
With Russian president Vladimir Putin saber-rattling with tactical nuclear weapons as a warning to the Ukraine and free world, US president Joe Biden comparing the current nuclear risk to the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is worth contemplating what to do to treat acute radiation syndrome .
Just as Israels Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Israel Aerospace Industries developed the Iron Dome to shoot down missiles and rockets hurled at the country from across its borders, a Haifa company named Pluri Inc, has been researching ARS for years and found a way to cope.
Biological Effect Relative To Exposure Dose
Exposure to ionizing radiation is an unavoidable fact of life on earth and has been a reality since the beginning of time. The various natural sources include cosmic rays from the sun and stars, radioactive elements in granite and other rocks, and radioactive elements that compose living tissue, predominantly potassium-40 and carbon-14. In addition, radioactivity exists in the environment from fallout from nuclear explosives testing, from both coal and nuclear power plants, and industrial accidents including Chernobyl in 1986 and the current nuclear reactor disaster in Fukashima, Japan. Finally, medical use of ionizing radiation is a growing source of exposure, although this exposure is generally limited to the individuals undergoing the various diagnostic studies and therapeutic interventions.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements publication No. 160 estimates the average effective dose of radiation to individuals in the United States to be 6.2 milliSieverts a year, with 3.0 milliSieverts coming from natural sources and an additional 3.0 from medical exposure, primarily from CT scanning and nuclear medicine procedures.
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Ionizing Radiation: Electromagnetic Radiation
Energy can travel through space in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is composed of massless waves of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. In a vacuum, these waves move at a constant speed, the speed of light . All electromagnetic waves propagate with characteristic wavelength and frequency, with the wave’s energy being directly proportional to frequency and inversely proportional to wavelength. Within the electromagnetic spectrum, only x-rays and gamma rays have enough energy to produce ion pairs. The remaining waves within the spectrum, such as microwaves and radiowaves, are nonionizing.
How To Treat Radiation Sickness
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
I grew up in the last days of the Cold War learning how to duck and cover and having drills in school where we were herded into what was supposed to pass for a fallout shelter, but really wouldnt work.
I was glad when the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was over, thinking that the threat of nuclear war was finally over. Naively, I believed our government when they said that most of the nuclear weapons had been destroyed. While that statement was technically true, both we and Russia still retain a lot of nuclear bombs and warheads. But that hasnt been a concern until recently.
Vladimir Putin, the president/dictator of Russia, grew up under the old system, like I did. The difference is that he became part of the KGB and fondly remembers the glory days of the Soviet Union, when they had an empire to rule. His dream is to bring that empire back, no matter how many he has to kill to make it happen.
That brings us to the place we are today, with Putin invading Ukraine for the second time and holding the world at bay with the threat of nuclear warfare. Our big concern today is what would happen if Vladimir Putin decided to push the button and unleash even one nuclear missile. Would that turn into full-blown nuclear warfare, with the United States and Russia sending hundreds of nuclear-tipped missiles at each other?
Want to prep but not sure where to begin?
What Is Radiation Recall
Radiation recall is a rash that looks like a severe sunburn. It is rare but it can happen when certain types of chemotherapy are given during or soon after external-beam radiation therapy.
The rash appears on the part of the body that received radiation therapy. Symptoms may include redness, tenderness, swelling, wet sores, and peeling skin.
Typically, these effects start within days or weeks of starting radiation therapy. But they can also appear months or years later. Doctors treat radiation recall with medications called corticosteroids. Rarely, it may be necessary to wait until the skin heals to continue with chemotherapy.
Restrict Access To Decontamination And Treatment Areas
Use strict isolation precautions, including protective clothing and double bagging discarded items, clothing, and waste. In addition, establish a buffer area or control line.
Monitor anyone or anything leaving the controlled areas. Frequently monitor/survey controlled treatment areas. Frequent environmental monitoring is recommended to ensure that high contamination or hot sources are found and limited. Results of surveys should be posted and visible to all staff.
Prepare survey instruments
- Check survey instruments, including batteries. Surveyor should document background radiation levels.
- Monitor anyone or anything potentially contaminated within the area and anyone or anything leaving a controlled area.
- Cover equipment and stretchers. Cover all equipment in treatment areas. Protect stretchers with several layers of waterproof, disposable sheets.
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Stages Of Radiation Sickness
Symptoms of severe radiation poisoning will normally go through four stages.
Prodomal stage: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, lasting from a few minutes to several days
Latent stage: Symptoms seem to disappear, and the person appears to recover
Overt stage: Depending on the type of exposure, this can involve problems with the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematopoietic, and central nervous system
Recovery or death: There may be a slow recovery, or the poisoning will be fatal.
What Causes Radiation Sickness
Radiation sickness can result from direct exposure or contamination by radioactive materials.
A nuclear blast, radiation accidents and fallout from nuclear weapons testing can result in direct exposure. Contamination can result from consuming nuclear-contaminated food and water and skin contact with the nuclear material.
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How To Take Ki
KI is recommended as a medical countermeasure to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine in people under 40 and pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because cells are still growing and multiplying more quickly in younger populations, so they can be at risk for developing thyroid cancer after breathing in radioactive iodine.
Adults over 40 years old have a much lower risk of developing thyroid cancer and are more likely to have health conditions, like problems with their thyroids, that increase their risks for harmful health effects from KI. However, officials or healthcare providers may instruct adults over 40 to consume KI if the predicted exposure is high enough to cause hypothyroidism.
Breastfeeding people should consider temporarily stopping breastfeeding until evacuated from the impacted area, if possible, and safely feed your baby other ways. Radioactive iodine can be passed to infants through breast milk.
There are two U.S. FDA-approved forms of KI:
- Tablets in two strengths, 130 milligram and 65 mg
- Oral liquid solution available in one concentration, each milliliter containing 65 mg of KI. The solution comes in a 1 oz bottle with a dropper marked for 1, 0.5, and 0.25 mL dosing. For reference, 5 mL of liquid is one teaspoon. One mL would be about the size of a large drop of water.
Recommended Single Dosage by Age*:
Pharmaceutical Countermeasures for Radiation Emergencies KI
What Did Chornobyl Radiation Do To People
According to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation, 134 first responders from the Chornobyl disaster received a diagnosis of ARS. Although some accounts and dramatizations portray these people dying instantly, this is not historically accurate. Of the 134 affected people, 28 died within 4 months of the accident. Another 19 died over the next 2 decades. The remaining individuals recovered from ARS.
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What Are The Treatments For Acute Radiation Sickness
Before they start treatment, health care professionals need to figure out how much radiation your body absorbed. They will ask about your symptoms, do blood tests, and may use a device that measures radiation. They also try get more information about the exposure, such as what type of radiation it was, how far away you were from the source of the radiation, and how long you were exposed.
Treatment focuses on reducing and treating infections, preventing dehydration, and treating injuries and burns. Some people may need treatments that help the bone marrow recover its function. If you were exposed to certain types of radiation, your provider may give you a treatment that limits or removes the contamination that is inside your body. You may also get treatments for your symptoms.
Is Radiation Sickness Contagious
If someone who has been exposed to a high dose of radiation is decontaminated their clothes are removed and their body is washed theyre not contagious. Youre not at risk of radiation exposure from them because the radiation is internalized.
If someone who has been exposed to a high dose of radiation isnt decontaminated, and youre near them, youre at risk for radiation exposure. First responders to nuclear emergencies, for example, are at higher risk of exposure from other people.
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How Do You Know If You’re Suffering From Radiation Poisoning
According to the Mayo Clinic, when a person has experienced known or probable exposure to a high dose of radiation from an accident or attack, medical personnel take a number of steps to determine the absorbed radiation dose. This information is essential for determining how severe the illness is likely to be, which treatments to use and whether a person is likely to survive.
Details about the distance from the source of radiation and duration of exposure can help provide a rough estimate of the severity of radiation sickness.
The time between radiation exposure and the onset of vomiting is a fairly accurate screening tool to estimate absorbed radiation dose. The shorter the time before the onset of this sign, the higher the dose. The severity and timing of other signs and symptoms also may help medical personnel determine the absorbed dose.
Frequent blood tests over several days enable medical personnel to look for drops in disease-fighting white blood cells and abnormal changes in the DNA of blood cells. These factors indicate the degree of bone marrow damage, which is determined by the level of an absorbed dose.
Potassium Iodide: An Antidote For Radiation Exposure
Manouchehr Saljoughian, PharmD, PhDDepartment of Pharmacy, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, California
US Pharm. 2011 36:HS-25-HS-28.
Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound that is available from three manufacturers under different brand names as an antidote to radiation exposure. From a chemistry point of view, it is made from potassium hydroxide and iodine, and it is the most produced iodide compound in the world. It is preferred over sodium iodide salt because it is less hygroscopic and easier to handle it is an odorless and stable white crystalline powder. Among its other applications, it is used in the photography industry to form silver iodide and in chemical laboratories as a source of iodide in organic synthesis. KI is also used in biomedical research as a fluorescence quencher through its iodide ion. Upon extended exposure to air, KI becomes yellow as a result of the liberation of iodine, and small quantities of iodate may be formed due to oxidation.1
Although KI has several medical and nutritional applications, its most important application is as an antidote to radiation. Recently, KI has been in high demand in the United States due to the warning about remote radiation exposure from the recent Japanese nuclear plant radioactive releases.2 For medical purposes, a saturated solution of KI is used to treat lung congestion and sporotrichosis and as an antiseptic in sore throats.
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Key Definitions For Ars
- Radiation: This is the emission of energy waves or particles through space. There are four types of radiation: alpha radiation, the type of radiation in radon beta radiation, the type of radiation that scientists use for carbon dating neutrons, which play a role in nuclear reactions and electromagnetic waves, including X-rays and gamma rays.
- Alpha particles: These represent the heaviest type of radiation. They include substances such as uranium and radon.
- Neutrons: This is the type of radiation created when uranium atoms split and cause a nuclear reaction.
- Protons: These subatomic particles are present inside the nucleus of an atom.
- X-rays and gamma rays: Both X-rays and gamma rays are types of electromagnetic radiation. They can play a part in medical treatments, sterilization, and more.
four stages of ARS, no matter the subtype. The stages of ARS are:
Toxicity When Combining Radiation And Biologics
As the number of biological agents continues to increase, it is important to keep in mind that combining radiation with targeted agents is not without risks. After all, radiosensitization is a double-edged sword. Here, we will briefly review the current clinical experience with regard to the side effects that may be seen when integrating biological agents with either radiation or chemoradiation.
Multiple large randomized trials have explored the option of adding cetuximab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, to definitive radiation or chemoradiation in HNSCC and NSCLC. Despite the favorable toxicity profile of cetuximab compared to conventional chemotherapy in the form of cisplatin, recent trials in HNSCC have failed to establish cetuximab and radiation as a less toxic alternative to cisplatin and radiation. In fact, the addition of cetuximab in combination with radiation or chemoradiation should be avoided in patients with a significant history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmias.63
Brian G. Czito, Christopher G. Willett, in, 2010
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Treatment Of Radiation Exposure And Contamination
Treatment of severe traumatic injuries or life-threatening medical conditions first
Minimization of health care worker radiation exposure and contamination
Treatment of external and internal contamination
Sometimes specific measures for particular radionuclides
Precautions for and treatment of compromised immune system
Minimize inflammatory response
Radiation exposure may be accompanied by physical injuries . Associated trauma is more immediately life threatening than radiation exposure and must be treated expeditiously . Trauma resuscitation of the seriously injured takes priority over decontamination efforts and must not be delayed awaiting special radiation management equipment and personnel. Standard universal precautions, as routinely used in trauma care, adequately protect the critical care team.
Extensive, reliable information about principles of radiation injuries, including management, is available at the US Department of Health and Human Services Radiation Event Medical Management web site. This information can be downloaded to a personal computer or smartphone in case internet connectivity is lost during a radiation incident. Consensus clinical management guidelines for the optimal management of acute radiation syndromes were developed by an international consultancy of experts convened by the World Health Organization to consider the quality of the evidence supporting various treatment guidelines .
General Radiation Control Practices For Treatment Areas
Evacuation of the emergency department and preparation of the area for the arrival of new patients should follow established HICS guidelines. While treatment principles for a radiation contamination event prioritize clinical status over radiation concerns, steps to minimize contamination of the facility and promote safety practices include the following:
- Secure entry points with hospital security.
- Establish a control line at the entrance to the treatment and decontamination areas.
- Clearly mark the area to differentiate the controlled from the nonradiation controlled side.
- Set up controlled treatment areas large enough to hold the anticipated number of victims.
- Cover traffic area floors and treatment areas. If time permits, securely tape durable nonslip covering to the floor. Placing floor covering should not delay urgent or emergent medical care.
- Clearly mark the area to prevent unauthorized entry.
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What Are The Common Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is called a local treatment. This means that it only affects the specific area of the body that is targeted. For example, radiation therapy to the scalp may cause hair loss. But people who have radiation therapy to other parts of their body do not usually lose the hair on their head.
Common physical side effects of radiation therapy include:
Skin changes. Some people who receive radiation therapy experience dryness, itching, blistering, or peeling on the skin in the area being treated. Skin changes from radiation therapy usually go away a few weeks after treatment ends. If skin damage becomes a serious problem, your doctor may change your treatment plan. Lotion may help with skin changes, but be sure to check with your health care team about which cream they recommend and when to apply it. It is also best to protect affected skin from the sun. Learn more about skin-related treatment side effects.
Fatigue. Fatigue is a term used to describe feeling physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion even if you are getting enough rest and sleep. Many patients experience fatigue. Your level of fatigue may increase if you are receiving more than 1 type of treatment, such as radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy. Learn how to cope with fatigue.