What Does Radiation Treatment Do To Your Body?

What are the long term side effects of radiation?

What are the most common long-term side effects of radiation?Cataracts.Hair loss.Hearing loss.Memory loss (“It’s hard to determine how much memory loss or cognitive dysfunction is related to a tumor and how much is related to radiotherapy,” says Dr.

Nowlan..

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.

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.

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 does radiation stay in your body after cancer treatment?

How long does radiation therapy take to work? Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before cancer cells start to die. Then, cancer cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.

Is radiation treatment painful?

You may need anesthesia to block the awareness of pain while the radioactive sources are placed in the body. Most people feel little to no discomfort during this treatment. But some may experience weakness or nausea from the anesthesia. You will need to take precautions to protect others from radiation exposure.

How does radiation therapy affect your body?

Radiation not only kills or slows the growth of cancer cells, it can also affect nearby healthy cells. Damage to healthy cells can cause side effects. Many people who get radiation therapy have fatigue. Fatigue is feeling exhausted and worn out.

How long is a session of radiation therapy?

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.

What is the success rate of radiation therapy?

When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation. Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach.

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.

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.

Can I drive home after radiation therapy?

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.

What are the most common side effects of radiation therapy?

Common Side Effects from Radiation TherapyHair loss.Appetite changes.Mouth and throat changes.Trouble swallowing.Swelling.Coughing.Diarrhea.Nausea and vomiting.More items…

How long does it take for radiation to shrink tumors?

At the same time, if a cell doesn’t divide, it also cannot grow and spread. 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).

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.