Side Effects of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation to destroy cancer cells precisely, but like any other treatment, it may have some side-effects. The side effects of treatment vary from person to person and it depends upon the type of cancer, its location, the dosage of radiation and person's overall health condition.
The following are some of the general side-effects of radiation treatment:
Tiredness and fatigue - It is one of the common side-effects of radiation therapy. It is seen after a few weeks of treatment especially in a patient undergoing treatment over large areas of the body and it resolves once the treatment is finished.
Skin Problems - External Radiation therapy may cause skin problems when the radiation passes through the skin to reach the area being treated. One may feel itching, redness, or dryness in the treated area and these problems are temporary which get relieved after some time.
Hair Loss - It only happens in the area of the body being treated. The volume of hair loss depends upon the dose of radiation. Permanent hair loss happens in the case of high dose radiation. Hair re-growth differs in person to person and it usually takes three to six months to re-grow after the completion of therapy.
Low Blood Cells Count - It happens when radiation is directed at bone marrow where blood cells are produced. This is more common when radiation is combined with chemotherapy. It can be managed effectively with supportive medication.
Other Problems - Other common side-effects faced by the patient due to radiation therapy include loss of appetite, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, diarrhoea, tissue inflammation, etc. Incidence of these side effects is based on the area being treated. They resolve once treatment is completed.
There are side-effects which remain for a long time even after the completion of the treatment. These side-effects vary depending on the body part treated. Some of the possible side-effects are:
Hormone Problem - When the tumour is located in an organ producing hormones like the pituitary gland, irradiating the gland can cause hormonal imbalance.
Heart Problems - If a patient receives radiation treatment in the chest like in case of breast cancer, there is a possibility of developing heart disease but this is uncommon when newer technologies like IMRT, Rapidarc etc are used.
Dr. Banupriya and her team aim to provide the best treatment for cancer with minimal side-effects by using advanced radiation technologies.
My name is Prativa Chakma, I come from Bangladesh. I came to Chennai to get treatment for cancer in my right breast.
Dr. Banupriya treated my mother for brain cancer. Before starting treatment, my mother was very concerned about side effects
My name is vivithakaran,26 years old, I am coming from Srilanka. I sustained multiple injuries in a road traffic accident
My name is Selvalakshmi, I was diagnosed with cancer in the food pipe at the age of 45 years. When I
My name is Srinivasan. My wife Jayanti was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer as her tumor had spread to brain.