Radiation Therapy Side Effects

Radiation Therapy Side Effects

The most common side effects are tiredness and skin changes. Radiation therapy does not cause hair loss, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. About halfway through the treatment course (planned weeks of radiation therapy) you may feel tired and experience some fatigue. During your treatment, it’s important to get proper rest.

During treatment, your skin may be itchy, dry, heavy or sore. It may also turn red (like sunburn), peel, darken or develop a shine. Color changes (such as redness and darkening) will fade about a month after treatment is complete. However, in some cases, it can take several months for the skin color to return to normal. Some skin discoloration, tanning or thickening may be permanent.

You will learn about proper skin care, side-effect management and the use of skin care products approved by your doctor. Your doctor, nurse and therapist will evaluate your skin weekly and will review skin-care instructions.

Just like any medical treatment or procedure, before you begin radiation therapy you will learn about the treatment plan, side effects and when and how the therapy will be given each day. Your team of doctors, nurses and technicians will monitor you closely during treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, always contact the radiation facility and someone will be able to assist you.

Updated June 6, 2016