Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Doctors and PatientsRadiation therapy is primarily used to kill off cancer cells in individuals who have been diagnosed with a later stage of cancer. Usually combined with chemotherapy, radiation therapy is proven to be one of the most effective tools used to rid the body of cancer cells. However, there are many side effects to be aware of when deciding if radiation therapy is the right treatment for you.

  1. Nausea

As one of the earliest and leading side effects of radiation therapy, nausea typically lasts a few weeks after you receive radiation but then will subside shortly after that. In order to treat the nausea, try to eat a diet that is low in fat and that is fairly bland. Almost treat your stomach as if you had the stomach flu. A diet rich in things like water, chicken broth, rice, and jello will leave your stomach feeling coated and will hopefully help to stave off the nausea.

To help alleviate the nausea try adding ginger to your diet. Suck on ginger candies or sip on ginger tea. Ginger is a natural root with ingredients that are known to help calm the effects of nausea and make patients feel more comfortable.

  1. Fatigue

As another one of the side effects of radiation therapy, fatigue will likely plague you before the nausea but will also subside in just a couple of weeks. As one of your body’s natural ways of indicating that you need to rest and recover after radiation therapy, now is probably the best time to kick up your feet, watch some movies in bed, and sleep all day. If you just can’t afford to sleep all day because you have work or familial obligations, try to work to conserve as much of your energy as possible. Meaning that you should avoid strenuous activities, and try to take things at a slower pace than normal. Be sure to communicate to your friends, family members, and caretakers that you are feeling fatigued and they can help accommodate you accordingly.

Radiation therapy is a wonderful tool used to help treat cancer. However, it can cause patients to feel both nauseous and fatigued. By following the above tips, you can help to feel better and more relaxed as you recover from treatment.

To learn more about radiation therapy, contact our office today!

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