Knowing the possible side effects of radiation can help you prepare in advance.
Has your doctor recommended radiation treatment? If so, the potential benefits outweigh the risks, however knowing the possible side effects can help you prepare in advance. Here are a few common side effects and what you can do to manage them.
• Fatigue. A feeling of tiredness, whether mild or extreme, can stem from the radiation treatment itself and/or depression or a loss in appetite and therefore change in diet. Ways in which you can deal with fatigue include getting more rest, exercising, curbing activities including work, and taking doctor-prescribed medication to boost energy and appetite.
• Skin problems. Radiation causes skin cells to die therefore skin in the radiation site can become irritated, dry, red, swollen and sometimes infected. Ways in which you can deal with skin problems include using gentle soaps and skincare products, avoiding overly hot showers or baths and using doctor-prescribed cleaners and creams.
• Nausea. After a radiation treatment, you may feel nauseous and even vomit. Ways in which you can help prevent nausea include eating a bland diet that is easy on your stomach prior to treatment or taking doctor-prescribed anti-nausea medication. Acupuncture may help relieve nausea too.
Remember that the majority of your side effects should subside within a couple of months of finishing your radiation treatment, though some can last much longer. To learn more about radiation treatment and managing side effects, talk with your doctor. To learn more about our oncology services, visit us online or call us at 1-855-80PLAZA for a physician referral.