What Should I Do After Radiation Therapy?

What does radiation burns look like?

After 1–3 weeks burn symptoms appear; erythema, increased skin pigmentation (dark colored patches and raised areas), followed by epilation and skin lesions.

Erythema occurs after 5–15 Gy, dry desquamation after 17 Gy, and bullous epidermitis after 72 Gy.

Chronic radiation keratosis may develop after higher doses..

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.

Can you shower after radiation treatment?

Bathe or shower only once a day. Bathe for only a short period of time, just long enough to cleanse yourself. Soap and water can cause your skin to become more dry. Do not shave the treatment area.

Does radiation weaken your immune system?

Certain cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, stem cell or bone marrow transplant, or steroids) or the cancer itself can suppress or weaken the immune system. These treatments can lower the number of white blood cells (WBCs) and other immune system cells.

What happens after you finish radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy usually does not have an immediate effect, and it could take days, weeks or months to see any change in the cancer. The cancer cells may then keep dying for weeks or months after the end of treatment. It may be some time before you know whether the radiation therapy has controlled the cancer.

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.

How do you take care of yourself during radiation?

Health Tip: Take Care of Yourself During Radiation TherapyGet enough sleep. This may include naps during the day, as fatigue can be a major side effect of radiation that can last up to six weeks after treatments end.Eat a healthy and balanced diet. … Clean the skin affected by radiation with a mild soap. … Tell your medical team about all medicines and supplements you take.

Does radiation shorten your life?

chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments cause aging at a genetic and cellular level, prompting DNA to start unraveling and cells to die off sooner than normal. bone marrow transplant recipients are eight times more likely to become frail than their healthy siblings.

Is radiation worse than chemo?

When it comes to side effects, radiation therapy is a little different than chemotherapy in that it only causes side effects in the area being treated (with the exception of fatigue), and generally has risk for both early and late side effects.

What is the best cream to use after radiation?

Manage irritation during and after your course of radiationAt the beginning of treatment, before you have any side effects, moisturize the skin after your daily treatment with an ointment such as A&D, Eucerin, Aquaphor, Biafene, or Radiacare. … For mild pinkness, itching, and burning, apply an aloe vera preparation.More items…•

What should I do after radiation treatment?

During radiation therapy: Be gentle and protect your skinWash the treated skin gently every day with warm water. … Use a gentle, low-pH cleanser if you need to cleanse. … Ignore the lines drawn on your skin. … Avoid shaving the treated skin. … Apply moisturizer every day as directed.

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

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 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).

Will I lose weight during radiation?

Appetite: While it is important to try not to lose weight during treatment, the side effects of radiation to certain areas of the body may make it difficult to eat and digest. Try eating small meals often, and avoid extremely hot or cold foods.

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.

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.