Question: What Can I Expect After My First Radiation Treatment?

How long does it take to recover from radiation therapy?

Most side effects generally go away within a few weeks to 2 months of finishing treatment.

But some side effects may continue after treatment is over because it takes time for healthy cells to recover from the effects of radiation therapy.

Late side effects can happen months or years after treatment..

What should I do after radiation therapy?

Some patients need help managing pain that can sometimes result at the treatment site after radiation therapy. You should not use a heating pad or warm compress to relieve pain in any area treated with radiation. Mild pain medicine may be enough for some people.

Does radiation weaken your immune system?

Radiation therapy can potentially affect your immune system, especially if a significant amount of bone marrow is being irradiated because of its role in creating white blood cells. However, this doesn’t typically suppress the immune system enough to make you more susceptible to infections.

How does radiation make you feel?

Most people start to feel tired after a few weeks of radiation therapy. This happens because radiation treatments destroy some healthy cells as well as the cancer cells. Fatigue usually gets worse as treatment goes on. Stress from being sick and daily trips for treatment can make fatigue worse.

How long does it take for radiation to shrink a tumor?

For tumors that divide slowly, the mass may shrink over a long, extended period after radiation stops. The median time for a prostate cancer to shrink is about 18 months (some quicker, some slower).

Can you be around someone after radiation treatment?

With internal radiation, you may need to avoid touching the patient until the implant is removed or limit the time you spend very close to them. With systemic radiation therapy, you may also have to avoid the person’s bodily fluids for a few days after treatment.

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment?

Fatigue is the most common acute side effect of radiation therapy. It is believed to be caused by the tremendous amount of energy that is used by the body to heal itself in response to radiation therapy.

Is radiation worse than chemo?

Radiation therapy involves giving high doses of radiation beams directly into a tumor. The radiation beams change the DNA makeup of the tumor, causing it to shrink or die. This type of cancer treatment has fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it only targets one area of the body.

What can you not do during radiation treatment?

Foods to avoid or reduce during radiation therapy include sodium (salt), added sugars, solid (saturated) fats, and an excess of alcohol. Some salt is needed in all diets.

What is the first sign of too much radiation?

The initial signs and symptoms of treatable radiation sickness are usually nausea and vomiting. The amount of time between exposure and when these symptoms develop is a clue to how much radiation a person has absorbed.

Will I need time off work for radiotherapy?

Some people manage to continue to work during radiotherapy treatment, but may need to reduce their hours. Other people stop working completely while they’re having radiotherapy and for a few weeks afterwards. Side effects Radiotherapy may make you feel tired.

How do you know if radiotherapy has worked?

There are a number of ways your care team can determine if radiation is working for you. These can include: Imaging Tests: Many patients will have radiology studies (CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans) during or after treatment to see if/how the tumor has responded (gotten smaller, stayed the same, or grown).

Is radiation treatment painful?

It is the most common radiation therapy treatment for cancer. Each session is 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.