How Do You Feel After Radiation Therapy?

What are the side effects of radiation therapy?

Specific side effects of radiation therapy that affect parts of the bodyHeadaches.Hair loss.Nausea.Vomiting.Extreme tiredness (fatigue)Hearing loss.Skin and scalp changes.Trouble with memory and speech.More items…•.

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. Most people begin to feel fatigued about 2 weeks after radiation treatments begin.

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.

Does radiation shorten your life?

Cancer survivors tend to have shorter telomeres than normal persons at the same age. This means that they are older than their actual years. It could be the intensive and toxic chemotherapy and radiation therapy that has led to this finding say researchers.

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.

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.

How long does it take for radiation to shrink tumors?

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 I drive after radiotherapy?

Will I be able to drive after my radiotherapy treatment? Almost all patients are able to drive while receiving radiotherapy treatment. However, with some types of cancer, driving may NOT be recommended due to fatigue or strong pain medication. Your physician will be able to address your specific case.

Is radiation therapy 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.

What does radiation feel like?

Initial symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhoea. These symptoms can start within minutes or days after the exposure. People who have been exposed to high doses can also have skin damage ranging from itching to burns, blisters and ulcers. They may also have temporary hair loss.

What happens to tumor after radiation?

When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body. Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before DNA is damaged enough for cancer cells to die. Then, cancer cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.

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 is the first sign of too much radiation?

Symptoms of radiation sickness may include: Weakness, fatigue, fainting, confusion. Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum. Bruising, skin burns, open sores on the skin, sloughing of skin.

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.

How long does the fatigue last after radiation?

Radiation can give you fatigue that tends to get worse over time. It usually lasts 3 to 4 weeks after your treatment stops, but it can continue for up to 3 months. Hormone therapy deprives the body of estrogen, and that can lead to fatigue that may last throughout your treatment or longer. Bone marrow transplant .