What Can I Expect At My First Radiation Appointment?

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..

Is your immune system compromised during radiation?

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 do you wear during radiation therapy?

Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and undergarments in the area being treated. Avoid tight clothing that will rub up against your skin, including underwire bras for women. Use only the moisturizers, creams, or lotions that you have discussed with your radiation oncologist or nurse.

Do you gain weight with radiation?

Your body needs more calories now, so you may need to eat more than usual. A dietitian from the radiation therapy clinic can help you set up a food plan. Tell your physician or nurse if you experience any significant weight loss or weight gain. We will check your weight weekly.

How long does a radiation appointment take?

In most instances, treatments are usually spread out over several weeks to allow your healthy cells to recover in between radiation therapy sessions. Expect each treatment session to last approximately 10 to 30 minutes.

How do you know if radiation therapy is working?

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).

How long after radiation do you start to feel better?

There are two kinds of radiation side effects: early and late. Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long. They may start during or right after treatment and last for several weeks after it ends, but then they get better.

Can I drive myself to radiation treatments?

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.

How will I feel after first radiation?

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.

Can you shower after radiation treatment?

Bathe or shower daily using warm water and a mild unscented soap, such as Neutrogena®, Dove®, baby soap, Basis®, or Cetaphil®. Rinse your skin well and pat it dry with a soft towel. When washing, be gentle with your skin in the area being treated. Don’t use a washcloth, scrubbing cloth, loofah or brush.

How much water should you drink during radiation?

Your doctor or nurse can prescribe these for you. It is important to drink plenty of fluids, at least 2 litres a day if possible.

What do you give someone starting radiation?

Holiday or anytime gift ideas for a cancer patientA blanket. … Port pillow. … Silk eye mask. … Lounge wear. … Back scratcher or zipper puller. … Insulated water bottle. … Gift cards. … Kindle, iPad or other tablet.More items…•

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.

How do I prepare for radiation treatment?

Preparing for radiation therapyFind out about quitting. If you smoke, try to quit or cut down before radiation therapy starts as smoking may make the treatment less effective and side effects worse. … Explore ways to relax. … Organise help at home. … Arrange transport. … Mention metal implants. … Ask about travel assistance. … Discuss your concerns. … Consider fertility.

What should I avoid 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. Your doctor or dietitian can recommend how much salt you should consume based on your medical history.

Do you lose weight during radiation treatment?

Radiation and chemotherapy often cause a decrease in appetite. They can also lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores, which can affect your ability to eat normally, further contributing to weight and muscle loss.

Can you eat and drink before radiation treatment?

If you feel queasy before treatment, try a snack of dry toast, crackers and a clear beverage, such as apple juice or a carbonated beverage. If queasy feeling after radiation, try not eating for a few hours before treatment and a few hours after. Eat six small meals a day, rather than three larger meals.

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.