When you have radiation treatment for cancer, your body goes through changes.
About 2 weeks after radiation treatment starts, you might notice changes in your skin. Most of these symptoms go away after your treatments have stopped.
Your body hair will fall out after about 2 weeks, but only in the area being treated. When your hair grows back, it may be different than before.
Around the second or third week after radiation treatments start, you may have:
When you have radiation treatment, color markings are drawn on your skin. DO NOT remove them. These show where to aim the radiation. If they come off, DO NOT redraw them. Tell your doctor.
To take care of the treatment area:
Tell your provider if you have any break or opening in your skin.
Wear loose-fitting clothing around your stomach and pelvis.
You will likely feel tired after a few weeks. If so:
Ask your provider before taking any drugs or other remedies for an upset stomach.
DO NOT eat for 4 hours before your treatment. If your stomach feels upset just before your treatment:
If your stomach is upset right after radiation treatment:
For an upset stomach:
To help with diarrhea:
Eat enough protein and calories to keep your weight up.
Your doctor may check your blood counts regularly, especially if the radiation treatment area is large.
Doroshow JH. Approach to the patient with cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 179.
National Cancer Institute. Radiation therapy and you: Support for people with cancer. Updated May 2007. www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/radiationttherapy.pdf. Accessed March 17, 2016.
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