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Preventing Side Effects From Radiation Therapy


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Preventing Side Effects From Radiation Therapy

When most people think about side effects from cancer treatment, they probably think first about chemotherapy. With more thought, recovery from surgery may come to mind. Perhaps last on the list of culprits would be radiation therapy. That was my thought anyway until I faced the "C" beast myself. Radiation therapy would head up my list of treatments that caused agony.

Thankfully, as with chemotherapy, many of the side effects of radiation therapy are preventable, but instead of a drug or drugs (anti-nausea medicines,) methods of lessening side effects are spoken of less often.

What can you do yourself during radiation therapy to reduce symptoms?

Wear loose clothing over the region receiving radiation.

Accept help from others to combat fatigue.

Use gentle detergents to wash your clothes.

Ask your radiation oncologist for lotions or creams if you are experiencing dry skin or a rash. Don't use over-the-counter lotions unless recommended by your doctor.

Eat frequent small meals.

Avoid using Band-Aids, ice packs, or heat packs unless instructed by your radiation oncologist.

Here are articles that cover both common side effects, as well further ideas on what you can do yourself (or help a loved one do) to minimize your symptoms during radiation therapy.

http://lungcancer.about.com/b/2014/04/2 ... herapy.htm


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