Sunday, March 3, 2024

Side Effects Of Radiation For Cancer

Radiation Therapy For Sclc

Radiation Therapy Side Effects for Prostate Cancer Patients

Surgery is usually not a good fit for people with SCLC, because the cancer usually cant be easily removed or has spread. Many people with limited-stage SCLC, which is cancer that is located only within the lung, receive radiation therapy to the lung and chemotherapy. People who arent healthy enough for aggressive treatments may receive chemotherapy first, followed by radiation.

Extensive-stage SCLC has metastasized around the body. People with this condition dont usually receive radiation as a first treatment. However, they may receive it later if chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs successfully shrink the tumor. Radiation therapy can also be used to treat symptoms in people with extensive-stage lung cancer.

Cancer metastasizes to the brain for about half of people with SCLC. Doctors may administer prophylactic radiation treatments to the brain to help reduce the chances that lung cancer will spread there. This is called prophylactic cranial irradiation.

After Radiation Therapy: Pay Attention To Your Treated Skin

Some side effects occur weeks, months, or years after your last radiation treatment. This can happen even if you had no side effects during treatment. To catch these side effects early, dermatologists recommend the following:

  • Watch your treated skin for signs of change. After treatment, its important to pay close attention to the skin that was treated with radiation therapy.If you see redness, a rash, or any other change, call your oncologist or dermatologist.

    Rash caused by radiation therapy

    The right skin care may lessen the side effects that develop on your skin.

  • Protect the treated area from the sun. Anyone who has had radiation treatments has a higher risk of developing skin cancer in that area. Skin cancer tends to show up many years later, so this makes sun protection essential for life.To find out how to protect your skin, go to Prevent skin cancer.

  • Make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist. By having a dermatologist, you have a specialist to see if you develop a skin problem later. This is especially important since you have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Radiation Therapy Timing And Breast Reconstruction

The timing of radiation treatment in your overall breast cancer treatment plan depends on your individual situation and the characteristics of the breast cancer.

In many cases, radiation therapy is given after surgery. If chemotherapy is planned after surgery, radiation usually follows chemotherapy.

If youre having mastectomy and have decided to have breast reconstruction, its important to know that radiation can cause a reconstructed breast to lose volume and change color, texture, and appearance.

In particular, radiation therapy is known to cause complications with implant reconstruction. Research also suggests that a reconstructed breast may interfere with radiation therapy reaching the area affected by cancer, though this can vary on a case-by-case basis.

For these reasons, some surgeons advise waiting until after radiation and other treatments, such as chemotherapy, are completed before breast reconstruction surgery is done.

Other surgeons may recommend a more staged approach, which places a tissue expander after mastectomy to preserve the shape of the breast during radiation treatments. Once radiation is completed and the tissues have recovered, the expander that was used to maintain the shape of the breast is removed and replaced with tissue from another part of the body or a breast implant.

Don’t Miss: Can Masturbation Cause Prostate Cancer

Planning Your Radiation Treatment

Before your treatment begins, you will meet with a radiation oncologist, who will explain why you need this treatment, what will happen and when it will take place.

While you are having radiation treatment you will need to use a reliable form of birth control.

It is important that neither you nor your partner becomes pregnant, as radiation treatment may harm a developing baby.

If you are pregnant now, talk to your treatment team immediately.

Questions To Ask About Radiation Therapy

The Side Effects of Treating Cancer With Radiation Therapy

Before treatment, youll be asked to sign a consent form saying that your doctor has explained how radiation therapy may help, the possible risks, the type of radiation to be used, and your other treatment options. Before signing the consent form, be sure that you have had a chance to get all your questions answered. Here are some of the things you may want to ask about:

Read Also: Radiation Cream For Breast Cancer

How Can I Handle Fatigue

The fatigue you feel from cancer and radiation therapy is different from other times you may have felt tired. Itâs an exhaustion that doesnât get better with rest and can keep you from doing the things you normally do, like going to work or spending time with family and friends. It also can seem different from day to day, which makes it hard to plan around it. It can even change how well you’re able to follow your cancer treatment plan.

Let your doctor know if youâre struggling with fatigue. They might be able to help. There are also things you can do to feel better:

  • Take care of your health. Be sure you’re taking your medications the way you’re supposed to. Get plenty of rest, be as active as you can, and eat the right foods.
  • Work with a counselor or take a class at your cancer treatment center to learn ways to conserve energy, reduce stress, and keep yourself from focusing on the fatigue.
  • Save your energy for the activities that are most important to you. Tackle them first when youâre feeling up to it.
  • Keep a balance between rest and activities. Too much bed rest can make you more tired. But don’t over-schedule your days without giving yourself breaks.
  • Ask for help from family and friends. If fatigue is interfering with your job, talk with your boss or HR department and ask about taking some time off from work or making adjustments in your schedule.

Breast Cancer Radiation Side Effects

Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

If someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, radiation therapy is likely to be part of their treatment plan. Radiation therapy consists of high beams of energy directed at cancer cells to kill them. Side effects of radiation can include skin changes and feeling tired.

Today’s radiation therapy is more advanced than earlier forms of radiation therapy that were known to cause lasting cell or organ damage, but risks exist and should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

This article will review the side effects of radiation for breast cancer and discuss the types and benefits of radiation therapy.

You May Like: Chem Trend Spray Foam Silicone

What Are Side Effects

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two most common types of cancer treatment. They work by destroying these fast-growing cells. But other types of fast-growing healthy cells also can be damaged along with cancer cells, causing adverse reactions, or side effects.

Side effects can range from tiredness and nausea to hair loss and blood clotting problems. Because each person responds a little differently to treatment and it’s hard for doctors to predict exactly how the body will react, they’ll closely watch a child who is being treated for cancer. Doctors weigh the amount and severity of side effects against the benefits of treatments.

Fortunately, most side effects are temporary. As the body’s normal cells recover, these problems start to go away. There are also good supportive treatments that can lessen the side effects.

Side effects vary:

  • Some can be merely unpleasant, while others can be much more serious.
  • Some show up right away, while others develop over time.
  • Some kids have just a few, while others have many over the course of treatment.

Less Common Bladder Symptoms After Radiation

What Are the Side Effects of Radiation Treatment?
  • a small amount of urine leakage especially if you laugh, sneeze, exercise, or cough
  • pain when passing urine
  • passing blood clots
  • difficulty passing urine, because the radiation treatment can make the tube that drains urine from the bladder narrower. This is known as a stricture.

Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occur, because treatment is available to alleviate them.

Read Also: Lupron Injection For Prostate Cancer

Can I Have Radiation Therapy If I Am Pregnant

If you are pregnant, you will probably not be able to have radiation therapy, as radiation can harm a developing baby. It’s important that you don’t become pregnant during treatment. Men who have radiation therapy should avoid getting their partner pregnant during treatment and for about six months afterwards, as radiation can damage sperm. Your doctor will be able to give you more information about radiation therapy and pregnancy.

What Happens During External

What happens during your radiation therapy treatment depends on the kind of radiation therapy you receive. External-beam radiation therapy delivers radiation from a machine outside the body. It is the most common radiation therapy treatment for cancer.

Each session is generally 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.

Typically, people have treatment sessions 5 times per week, Monday through Friday. This schedule usually continues for 3 to 9 weeks, depending on your personal treatment plan.

This type of radiation therapy only targets the tumor. But it will affect some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. While most people feel no pain when each treatment is being delivered, effects of treatment slowly build up over time and may include discomfort, skin changes, or other side effects, depending on where in the body treatment is being delivered. The 2-day break in treatment each week allows your body some time to repair this damage. Some of the effects may not go away until after the treatment period is complete. Let your health care team know if you are experiencing any side effects so they can help relieve them. Read more about the side effects of radiation therapy.

Read Also: K-cups And Breast Cancer

How Long Do The Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy For Lung Cancer Last

Typically, many of these side effects appear shortly after treatment begins, then gradually worsen as treatment progresses. Most can be expected to improve within a few weeks after radiation therapy is completed.

Throughout the course of your radiation therapy for lung cancer, it will be important for you to communicate candidly with your physician. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, there may be options to help you manage them. However, your treatment team will need to understand what you are experiencing in order to help you feel better.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Thomas Dilling.

If youd like to learn more about the common side effects of radiation therapy for lung cancer, a radiation oncologist in the Thoracic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center can answer your questions. Call or complete our new patient registration form online. You are welcome to request an appointment with or without a referral.

If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Head Or Neck

Side effects of radiation for breast cancer: What to know

People who get radiation to the head and neck might have side effects such as:

  • Soreness in the mouth or throat

How to care for your mouth during treatment

If you get radiation therapy to the head or neck, you need to take good care of your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. Here are some tips that may help you manage mouth problems:

  • Avoid spicy and rough foods, such as raw vegetables, dry crackers, and nuts.
  • Dont eat or drink very hot or very cold foods or beverages.
  • Dont smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol these can make mouth sores worse.
  • Stay away from sugary snacks.
  • Ask your cancer care team to recommend a good mouthwash. The alcohol in some mouthwashes can dry and irritate mouth tissues.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt and soda water every 1 to 2 hours as needed.
  • Sip cool drinks often throughout the day.
  • Eat sugar-free candy or chew gum to help keep your mouth moist.
  • Moisten food with gravies and sauces to make it easier to eat.
  • Ask your cancer care team about medicines to help treat mouth sores and control pain while eating.

If these measures are not enough, ask your cancer care team for advice. Mouth dryness may be a problem even after treatment is over. If so, talk to your team about what you can do.

How to care for your teeth during treatment

Radiation treatment to your head and neck can increase your chances of getting cavities. This is especially true if you have dry mouth as a result of treatment.

Read Also: Best Lotion For Chemo Skin

Why Does Radiation Therapy Cause Side Effects

In this type of treatment, high doses of radiation therapy are used to destroy cancer cells. Side effects come from damage to healthy cells and tissues near the treatment area.

There have been major research advances in radiation therapy over recent years that have made it more precise. This has reduced this treatment’s side effects compared to radiation therapy techniques used in the past.

Some people experience few or no side effects from radiation therapy. Other people experience more severe side effects. Reactions to radiation therapy often start during the second or third week of treatment. Or, they may last for several weeks after the final treatment. Some side effects may be long term. Talk with your treatment team about what you can expect.

When Is Bladder Cancer Radiation Therapy Used

Radiation therapy for bladder cancer is used for various reasons. A few of them are listed below-

  • It is used as one of the treatment parts for a few early-stage bladder cancers. RT is used after surgery which fails to remove the entire bladder like TURBT.
  • RT is considered a primary treatment method for individuals with earlier-stage cancers. Especially who cant go through treatment methods such as chemotherapy or surgery.
  • Also advised for people who want to avoid cystectomy. It is a surgery involving the removal of the bladder.
  • Oncologists use RT for treating people who have advanced bladder cancer
  • RT is used to treat and prevent symptoms of advanced bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer radiation therapy is often accompanied by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy aid in enhancing radiation effectiveness. The whole process is generally called chemoradiation.

Recommended Reading: How Do They Diagnose Bladder Cancer

Don’t Miss: Best Shampoo For Post Chemo Hair

Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer

If the cancer has reached an advanced stage, its no longer possible to cure it. But it may be possible to slow its progression, prolong your life and relieve symptoms.

Treatment options include:

  • hormone treatment

If the cancer has spread to your bones, medicines called bisphosphonates may be used. Bisphosphonates help reduce bone pain and bone loss.

Vitamins To Avoid During Radiation Therapy

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer?

Your radiation oncologist may tell you to avoid taking certain antioxidant vitamin supplements, such as vitamins C, A, D, and E, while you’re having radiation therapy. These vitamins might interfere with radiation’s ability to destroy cancer cells. This is because radiation works in part by creating free radicals highly energized molecules that damage cancer cells. Free radicals in the environment can damage all cells, but in the case of radiation treatment they are focused on the cancer cells. Antioxidants help keep free radicals from forming or neutralize them if they do form.

Because of the potential conflict between the goal of radiation therapy and the goal of antioxidants , it makes sense to stop taking any antioxidant supplements during radiation therapy. When radiation is finished, you can resume taking your supplements.

Throughout your treatment, do your best to eat a well-balanced diet that contains all of the vitamins you need. Vitamins that come naturally from food are unlikely to interfere with treatment.

You May Like: Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer

Working During Radiation Therapy

Some people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what you may expect from the treatment you will have.

You are likely to feel well enough to work when you first start your radiation treatments. As time goes on, do not be surprised if you are more tired, have less energy, or feel weak. Once you have finished treatment, it may take just a few weeks for you to feel betteror it could take months.

You may get to a point during your radiation therapy when you feel too sick to work. Talk with your employer to find out if you can go on medical leave. Check that your health insurance will pay for treatment while you are on medical leave.

Related Resources

Types Of Radiation Treatment

Radiation treatment can be given outside the body or internally by placing a radioactive source inside the body.

External radiation treatment

During treatment, you will lie still and the machine will move around you so that the radiation can be directed at the tumour from different angles, similar to having an X-ray.

Internal radiation treatment

If you have internal radiation treatment, a radioactive source will be placed into the body close to your cancer, or into the cancer itself.

Also Check: Why Does Cancer Come Back

Mouth And Throat Problems

Radiation treatment can give you a sore or dry mouth or throat and your voice may become hoarse, especially if you are receiving treatment to the head and neck region.

Try some of these ideas:

  • suck on ice blocks
  • dunk dry biscuits in tea
  • blend foods and eat soups and ice creams
  • ask your dentist, doctor or nurse about artificial saliva
  • if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and avoid spirits

If you are having radiation treatment to your mouth, your teeth will be more likely to decay. Discuss dental care with your doctor and dentist before your treatment starts, so any dental work can be arranged before your radiation treatment begins.

Latest news
Related news