Question: What Happens During Radiation Therapy?

What do you wear during radiation?

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..

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 does radiation therapy work?

Radiation works by making small breaks in the DNA inside cells. These breaks keep cancer cells from growing and dividing and cause them to die. Nearby normal cells can also be affected by radiation, but most recover and go back to working the way they should.

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 I expect after my first radiation treatment?

The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area. Late side effects can take months or even years to develop.

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.

Does radiation make you lose weight?

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.

How long does it take to recover from radiation?

Radiation therapy is associated with harsh side effects, many of which don’t emerge until months or years after treatment. Acute side effects occur and disappear within 14 days of treatment, but long-term effects like bone degeneration, skin ulcers, and bladder irritation take much longer to manifest.

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.

How long does it take for radiation therapy to work?

How long does radiation therapy take? Each radiation therapy treatment takes about 10 minutes. Radiation therapy to try and cure cancer is usually delivered daily, Monday through Friday, for about five to eight weeks. Weekend breaks allow normal cells to recover.

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.

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.