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Curious - how long does radiation appt. take?

gerbil runner

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My mom will soon be starting 5 weeks of daily radiation. We're all wondering: about how long will each session will take? Mom will be getting mapped this week, and we expect that to take some time, but those daily radiation appointments don't seem like they should last very long.

What has been the norm for those of you who did this?

Also, how does one get through radiation and chemo together? Mom is exhausted much of the time, and is not looking forward to spending weeks feeling like a vegetable. She's gearing up for 5 weeks by telling herself she can get through just about ANYTHING that only lasts 5 weeks.

How long after does it take to feel human again? And the esophageal burns - mom is very likely to get that due to the location of her original lung tumor - any magic hints to help with that?

Mom said she spent a little time lurking on this site over the weekend - so if you're reading this, Mom, pay attention :) .

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HI gerbil,

I just completed 15 treatments of whole brain radiation which is different from you situation but I can relate how mine went anyway.After I had my mask made the treatments only took about 5 minutes each.I was in and out of the clinic in 15 minutes easily every day.I had no effects whatsoever until the 10th treatment.After that one I lost all my hair and began to feel sunburned on the head and ears.My last treatment was last Tuesday and my ears scalp have now begun to peel.I am using a cream to help with this problem.I have noticed fatique setting in this weekend and slept more than usual.The nurses there told me that I should start to feel more normal in 7 to 10 days after treatment.But overall it was really not a big deal and I had feared that it would be.TBone

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My husband had 27 radiation treatments to the chest some weeks he also had chemo at the same time for 3 days. He didn't notice anything until the last week and that is when he became tired and had a hard time swallowing (which took forever to go away)

The Dr. prescribed this Magic Mouthwash stuff (YICK) which should coat the esophageas. It took us longet to drive to the office then he was in there I would say 5 to 10 minutes at the most.

He is going to be starting PCI radiation this week now.

Hoppe this helps


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At our cancer center the radiation treatments went very quick. Once you get in to the room it's very fast and you're out. My husband did chemo at the same time and he got pretty whipped but made it through.

Best wishes to mom! You can do it.

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My Husband did 15 radiation treatments, and like everyone here has said, they went pretty quick. He was in and out in about 15 minutes. The first appointment where they mapped him out was the only one that took any time.

Keith also was receiving chemo during the treatments. He did not have any side effects from the radiation other than a bit of a sunburn type rash on the radiation spot. The doctor gave him a moisture cream to put on that helped. We have been told that it is best not to put the lotion on right before the radiation treatments as that can cause additional burning. Put it on in the morning, than wipe it off right before treatment.

Where is your mother getting the radiation. My husband received the treatment at the crook of his neck for a lymph node there and did not experience any esophogitis as the radiation tech said it was fairly pin pointed radiation and not up against the esophogus.

From what we were told by the dr. side effects can very greatly depending on where the radiation is being applied. Radiation along the esophogus does cause some swallowing problems. Closer to the stomach can cause acid reflux, sometime even ulcers and nausea. Radiation of the brain is associated with greater degrees of exhaustion and can cause confusion and some temporarty short term memory fuzziness.

Keith didn't experience any increased exhaustion, but that can happen. One thing to keep in mind is that both Chemo and radiation dehydrate the body, and dehydration can greatly increase exhaustion as well as a host of other potentially danger side effects. Make sure your mom drinks plenty of fluids during her treatments.

Wishing you the best, and I will keep you in my prayers.


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I had 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemo at the same time.

Like some of the others have said, it kicked my butt, but I muddled through! It actually wasn't too bad until about the 4th week, then it caught up with me. Very tired, very dehydrated and very hard to swallow......but with that said -- I just kept telling myself I only had to get through a few weeks and I did it! The radiation appt. itself doesn't take long -- a minute on the table, start to finish...it's the waiting room wait that can get you! :roll:

The radiation burns/esophogitis was difficult. I was prescribed several numbing medicines, like Magic Mouthwash, which did help temporarily. The pain lingered for some time (my oncologist was kind enough to tell me I was the "worst case of esophagitis he has ever seen... :roll: ) so I don't think my case was the "norm". Several people here had very little symptoms at all, hopefully your mom will be one of them!

I would suggest that your mom drinks LOTS of water and tries to keep her weight up. I was fortunate that the head nurse in radiation would "check up" on me each day as I finished treatment. Those last few weeks, she was a godsend. She would see me walking by and grab my arm, sit me down, and check my vitals. She hooked me up up to an IV for extra fluids at least 3 times a week! I'm not trying to alarm you by telling you this, I just want to make sure that if your mom starts to feel "off" (sluggish, or "fuzzy") just check in w/ one of the nurses while at a treatment appt to double check her vitals-- no need to wait for a scheduled doctors appt!

With all that said, I would do that same simultaneous treatment again in a heartbeat. I just celebrated my one year anniversary of diagnoses and god willing, I will be celebrating many more.

I will pray for your mom to handle her treatment with flying colors and come out the other side feeling much better!

Take care,


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My mom received 33 daily radiation treatments and she always said it took her longer to get her clothes off than it did to receive the radiation. She was probably in there for no more than 5 to 10 minutes. And she also did receive chemo in conjunction with the radiation. She handled it extremely well. It wasn't until the end of radiation that she experienced painful burns on her back and in her esophogas. This took about 3 weeks to subside.

Blessings to you and your mom,


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