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Location of your radiation and what side effects?


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Investigating where people had there radiation shot (mine is cleavage area and to the right about 3 inches 6"X 6" irregular circle/ front and back being shot) as I hear it makes a difference on side effects.

Checking to see what side effects people had and when they got them in their treatment cycle.



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I have NSCLC but my radiation was to the exact areas you seem to be discribing. I now have wheezing from the radiation and some shortness of breath. I had had surgery and that part of my lung removed so that may account for the shortness of breath. I wish you the best. Be prepared to be tired. It gets better in a few weeks after treament.


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Same site but on the left. I did well really. Sore throat but never had trouble eating. Just like me to eat thru anything!! :wink:

The last week I got tired, and had broken my R leg during the rad treatments so lugging that thing around was draining also.

I now have a small cough, and get sob with some exertion. Not bad if I say so myself. Good luck.

Love Cindy

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My area is almost dead center in my chest, a roughly rectangular area measuring about 4" X 6.5".....maybe slightly to the left (where the primary was). As of today, I have 9 tx's to go...and as of the last few days, I am noticing a bit more fatigue...but not a huge amount.

The worst side effect so far....is my back, which is red and itchy. Even 3X daily Aquafor does not entirely take care of the itch....so use that lotion liberally in the beginning, Jen...especially on your back. The techs told me that the back probably gets less exposure to the sun and so it is more sensitive :?: Whatever the reason...the itchiness is maddening! :shock:

No trouble eating here, either....but I attribute that to the amifostine shots.

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My "tan" was in the same place. I never experienced real skin discomfort (front or back), just something like mild sunburn. I put pure aloe vera lotion on before bed (when all my itchies like to come out) on the nights it bothered me.

Internal problems with swallowing came at about week 4 (I went 5 1/2 weeks) and continued about four weeks after treatment was complete - but getting better daily. I could not swallow without feeling that there was a golf ball in my throat - not exactly painful at first, just uncomfortable. A week after the discomfort came the pain on swallowing. I had problems swallowing liquids, but chewed softer food (Double Stuf Oreo cookies) went down pretty easy. I'm guessing it's because the throat takes a bigger "chunk" when swallowing liquid...

My radiation oncologist recommended drinking aloe vera - it really had no taste. One shot of the aloe vera (no kidding, in a shot glass) three times a day - any more than that brought on diarrhea. When it got painful, I received a prescription for Carafax (and OLLLLLDDDD medication for stomach ulcers)...now THAT crap tastes HORRIBLE! Protocol was a shot of aloe to soothe and then the dose of Carafax to coat...NASTY!

Fatigue was a result of the treatment (and a dread of having to go back to work soon, maybe? LOL) and I didn't like the weekly blood tests nor the metallic taste I got when going through the actual treatment (I'm in that lucky 10% that can TASTE radiation). If you find that you have a metallic taste when being radiated, suck on sour candy (Altoids sours-Tangerine were my choice) during treatment. It stimulates saliva and helps to "wash" the taste out of your mouth.

Another thing I HATED was being "stuck" in the house and not able to be out in the general population. I missed my son's DARE and 6th grade graduation. SOOOO, I stayed home...and tore up all the carpet in the bottom level of the house...and painted all the closets and the kitchen...and put closet organizers in all the closets...and planted gardens full of flowers and bulbs...and removed three horrible and huge honeysuckle bushes that wouldn't bloom...and put up a new bed for my son...(hey, it was productive, the house sold in three weeks this spring!)

It's do-able, hang in there!


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Jen, mine sounds similar to what you're having, but as of today, I've just had treatment #8, so am quite early in the process (will have 35 treatments total - 7 weeks).

The Radiologist told me up front about the esophagitis, fagitue, etc., and so far I'm early for those things, but will be ready if and when they happen.

Yesterday, I noticed it was a teensy bit more difficult for me to walk the last 20 steps (up a slight incline) on the way back from my daily lunch walk, but it was really nothing. I still have good energy when I get up, and make it through the work day quite well.

I'm a blessed person -- I've not experienced the side effects most people do with chemo, and even though I expect to experience some from the radiation, the docs all tell me I'm in such good physical condition otherwise that I should tolerate them very well. So, we'll see ...

I was glad to read your post and that you asked the questions as you did, because I find myself intensely curious about potential side effects as well. The nurses where I have chemo are really good at discussing these things with me, as are all the people where I have radiation therapy, so it hasn't been too much of a problem for me. This forum is the greatest source I've found though to hear from others who have "been there, done that," or who are going through many of the same things right now just like I am.

One day at a time, huh!!


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I had my radiation with my chemo, so my side effects are mixed. I don't know if I tasted the radiation or if that was the platinum...I know I was fatigued.....

My radiation covered my left side from my breastbone over, from beneath the left breast up to my collarbone and above, including my thyroid, and on the outside up to my earlobe because my neck was involved. I had two 'exposures' , top and bottom, and there was a kind of block to keep the radiation from my heart. My back got kind of raw but only at the very end, and that was due to too much time on the heating pad. Domesboro soaks in sterile saline really helped the raw patches.

I lost my collarbone after surgery because it would not have healed, having been irradiated. I had the taste in my mouth, and was also taking prilosec for a long time due to reflux esophagitis.

I hope you're doing well, hanging in there....

Keep up the good work.




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My mom experience the same skin problems as Addie, so minor at first that she never made the connection with the radiation. She had kind of a bumpy itchy rash on her back. She uses a 1% hydrocortisone cream, over the counter, to help with the itching. She just told me about it the other day, now that she's done, so I guess it wasn't too bad.

Take care,


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  • 2 weeks later...


I just finished 33 rounds of rad (this past Thursday). Mine was in the center of the chest from the base of the neck to my cleveage.

Let me first say, if something is going to happen....it will happen to me!

The first week I developed a yeast infection in my throat, hurt like crazy! I started to burn around week 4 and develop the "ball in your throat" at that time. My chest burns were severe, I had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my chest. My back was just red and itchy. My burns were worse then most according to the Dr.

My pain did get to the point that I wanted to quit, I'm not saying this to discourage you! DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU FACE, IT WILL GO AWAY!!!!!!!! I did finish all the treatments, it took lots of pain meds, a great Dr. and everyone here to get me through it. Although the pain has not changed any over the past few days, I have wined and complained on the message boards and everyone has boasted my spirits.

I went into this thinking that my side affects would be minimal, and they turned out to be bad. Just mentally prepare yourself and your support people. Have a positive attitude and when it gets bad, come here and ask for support. Everyone here is great and they will boast your spirit.

I also recommend finding a friend on the boards, someone who is going through the same treatment, that you can talk to one on one. Someone found me at the beginning of treatment.....without her I don't know that I would have made it through as well as I did! She dug me out of depression many times, it seemed to help to have someone who really knew what was happening.

My side affects could have been worse because I was doing chemo at the same time, not only did I have the rad affects but chemo was thrown on top of it.

Good luck to you!

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