What Are The Effects Of Radiation Treatments?
Effects of radiation therapy are limited to the area being treated. For example, radiation treatments to the body such as the lung, breast or abdomen will not cause hair loss. However, radiation treatment of the head will likely cause some hair loss, which may take several months to re-grow.
External radiation therapy does not cause a patient's body to become radioactive and patients do not need to avoid being with other people for fear of exposing them to radiation. Hugging, kissing, or having sexual relations will not pose a risk of radiation exposure.
Most side effects that occur during radiation therapy, although sometimes unpleasant, are not serious and can be controlled with medication or diet. They usually go away within a few weeks after treatment ends. Many people continue to work or maintain their normal regular lifestyle and daily activities.
With newer technology and radiation treatment techniques such as IMRT, IGRT and stereotactic radiation therapy, some patients have minimal or no side effects at all.
Prior to the start of radiation treatments, your radiation oncologist will review with you in detail the treatment course and potential side effects as they pertain to you and your body.