During radiation therapy, your cancerous cells are exposed to high-energy rays with the intent of destroying these cells. Experts like Targeting Cancer website enlighten you on the side effects of this treatment undertaken by a radiation oncologist.
It is natural to feel anxious after learning you need radiation therapy. Mentally preparing yourself on what the treatment entails reassures you. When in the hands of highly trained medical professionals, you can look forward to the best care.
Understanding Radiation Therapy
To help you better accept this recommended line of treatment, enumerated here are essential aspects to know of before the procedure commences:
The Goal of Radiation Therapy
Radiation oncologists use this therapy to slow tumor growth and destroy cancer cells. It is often suggested as the first treatment course and is administered across sessions scheduled over a set period.
When destroying cancerous cells is not possible, doctors use radiation therapy to relieve your pain by shrinking the tumor. This treatment improves your quality of life despite having cancer.
At times, radiation therapy alone proves effective while it is given in combination with surgery or chemotherapy for some.
Advancements in radiation therapy ensure its safety and effectiveness. This form of cancer treatment has been around for over a century. Your doctor tailors your therapy to make sure it focuses on your cancer without causing any harm to healthy organs in the vicinity.
At every stage of therapy, your treatment plan is re-evaluated based on its effect on you. External beam radiation rules out any entry of radioactive elements into your body. In brachytherapy, tiny radioactive sources are implanted either permanently or temporarily.
Should you need to take any precautions in the latter case, your oncologist educates you. The method of administering radiation therapy is chosen based on the severity of your cancer. Irrespective, you can ensure that every precaution is taken to curb your cancer from spreading without compromising your safety.
Depending on your cancer type, valuable inputs posted by reliable sites like the Targeting Cancer website are very enlightening.
It is reassuring to know that most patients continue their normal routine after undergoing radiation therapy.
If you experience any discomfort or side effect, it is restricted to the area being treated. These side effects are mostly temporary and treatable by your team of doctors. At the outset, your oncologist will inform you about any minor side effects you may experience, like fatigue.
Not exerting yourself during your treatment sessions is advisable as your cancer can take its toll on your energy levels, especially while treating it. The non-severe risks associated with radiation therapy far outweigh the benefit of it fighting your cancer.
The diagnosis and subsequent treatment of cancer demand you prioritize your health. Your therapist will advise you to:
- Get plenty of rest
- Eat a nutritious and balanced diet
- Follow your doctor’s orders
- Especially look after that section of skin exposed to radiation
- Reach out to support groups if need be
Lean on detailed inputs shared by experts specializing in radiation oncology.
With proper knowledge about treatment, you or your loved ones will be better equipped to fight this disease.