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Radiation Sideeffects


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Question: My dad is having Rad to chest tumor and lymph areas (new esphogus) on Monday....wondering what side effects he might experience and when do they typically start. (So, we can mentally prepare) Know that all treatment affects people different but wanted to get an idea....


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I just finished 33 rounds. :lol: Let me start by saying, I AM NOT normal! Everything happened to me earlier and seemed to be stronger according to the Dr. :? The first 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 weeks are great, don't notice a thing! After that he may wake up with a sore throat that turns into a feeling like a balled up sock is stuck in your throat and you can't swallow it. Its shocking for an hour or so until you get use to it.

There is also a "yeast infection" that you can get in your throat, not fun! If the pain is so intense that you are doubled over, your tongue has a yellowish film over it and you experience nausea. It may be a yeast infection. I had one the first week (which is rare) and one the last week. :x

I'll be honest....I can handle pain BUT the last two weeks of my treatment (which ended 08/12) and currently...I am still taking 2 percocet every 4 hours for pain. It is slowly getting better. I also had chemo with radiation and chemo does intensify the radiation (keep that in mind too)

Towards the end it was no picnic for me, KEEP EATING, no matter how much it hurts! I have slowly gained weight by forcing food down, cursing and screaming the whole way (It did come to that), there are all kind of "mouth washes" the Dr. can perscribe too, although none helped me. I have only been able to drink water or tea for the past month and a half. Can't wait to drink a soda again and really been craving a beer! :P

Remember, I am not the norm! Not everyone has pain like I did, I just want you to be prepared for the worst and then it won't happen. :wink:

Good luck!

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Hello jd,

The results are different from people

some people get radiation and have hardly any side effets

other have many side effects,

it all depends of where and how it is administered also

the stage of the sickness and the treatment itself.

You will get other people that went through those treatments

giving you more ideas.

Good luck


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Pretty much ditto to what Beth said for my Mom. the first 3 weeks or so were a breeze (mom did chemo also and really had no troubles there) then it started and gets worse. Mom finished her 33 radiation treatments 8 days ago and is taking 20mg oxycotin every 12 hours anddn using oxy IR for breakthu pain as needed along with 2 differnt mouth rinse type things. one of them numbs her up for about 20 minutes or so and thats when she tries to drink or eat, but sometimes thats doesnt even work. Not everyone experiences the burns quite this bad i dont think, but the radiatin definatly kicked my mom in the butt and she has a really really high level of pain tolerance, and for her to even take a asprin for pain is unusual, so her taking oxycotin tells me she is hurting.

Im not trying to scare you, but prepare yourself just in case you fall into the catagory like Beth and my mom. BUT it does get better, its not forever and thats what has kept mom going.

you are in my prayers and hope you will have an easy time with the radiation. I think to it also depends on exactly where your tumor is located and where the radiaiton is going.

Keep us posted


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Hi JD,

Everyone is different. I really did not have that hard of time with the radiation. My throat did get a little sore, but manageable. I knew that I still needed to eat, if it hurt I still made myself eat. Although the pain was not that bad. Never needed pain pills or any other meds for my throat. I did get a bad case of indigestion after my treatment, but it has stopped. The radiation actually made me feel better. Before treatment I would get these coughing spells that would last for hours. Hard to rest, couldn't talk a lot because when I talked I would start coughing.

Best Wishes


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I'm at 31 treatments out of 35, and I've been receiving Amifostine Injections. I have the baseball in the throat feeling, but I've been drinking Aloe Juice and it's all I've needed. I am very tired, but I've been driving myself to and from treatments (50 miles) each day. It's doable.

Hope things go well for your Dad. Remember, though, that he is being radiated to the esophagus directly (do I understand this correctly?), and if that's the case then he is going to have more problems that those who are not receiving rads there.

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Well, we will see if the treatment regimine is going to be the same....just heard under the radar that the tech said on the bone scan that there are 2 more mets to the hip and shoulder. No word on the Pet scan yet. I think they are only planning 3 actual zaps. 2 spots on one day and see how he can take it, if can't then 2 x per week. Seems odd they are only going to do 3 total zaps (one set per week for 3 weeks), when you guys all seem to be doing lots more....wonder if they are doing a higher dose? Who the heck can keep up with all the changes anymore.. Yes, the lymph node one, I think was going to be near or around the esphogus. He coughs so hard once in a while that he actually turns blue. No, he isn't on Oxygen. They are also going to zap the main tumor in the lung....he actually stopped the coughing after he quit smoking. But as the tumor has grown the coughing is back.....

Right now, my dad is VERY angry and taking it out on me AGAIN. It is so frustrating. My sister deals with him every day and is frustrated and tired and again, it is easier to be mad at me than to say it is to much. I am not the "jerk again" because I had gotten us 2nd oppinion appts and dad felt that they conflicted with a VERY minor thing and I was just trying to control the situation. Which is obnoxius bc he is the one that asked me to help and told me to set up the appts. It isn't my fault that the 2nd oppinion dcts felt it was urgent and wanted him in right away and cleared their schedules. So, for all my help, I got a big kick in the *ss and called TERRIBLE, vile names because the 2nd oppinion appts could not reschedule. My sister whines and yells when I do not help her and then Yells and whines when I do offer to help or do help her out. I just can't win. I think they want me to make it all go away and when I can't I am being a jerk.....

I am supposed to go home this weekend with my husband and baby but don't think I can because I can't listen to people calling me terrible names and taking out their frustration on me. I didn't refuse to go to the doctor about the cough (that we all told him to see a dctr about) for the last 15 years. This isn't my fault, why do I need to be beat up.

My husband is so tired of this that he says he can't sit their and watch his wife be beaten on anymore and is going to tell them to shut up next time they start attacking me. I wanted to go home to make sure my dad got to see the baby but if they are going to attack me, then that isn't a good enviroment for the baby.....I just don't know what to do anymore. I am damed if I do and damed if I don't.

Sorry, I know this isn't my orginal question, I am just so upset and needed to vent really.

I understand my dad is very ill and my sister and dad are scared but I just can't be people's punching bag anymore. It is all just to terrible.....

I am to tired myself and don't have the heart for it.

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It just broke my heart to your last post here. I just don't even know what to say. I think someone else on here had problems similar to this with a parent or family member who expressed anger toward them, but I can't remember who it was. I know there was a young lady whose mom wouldn't get treatment and the mom would get mad at her for pushing the issue, but that's not who I'm thinking of. There was someone else. I hope that person is reading this, and will write to you and talk to you about it.

I'm just so sorry that you have this on top of worrying about your dad. I don't blame your hubby for being upset either. Nobody likes to see their spouse hurt like that.

I sure hope things get better for you - and for your dad.

God bless you,


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More bad news today...

PET and bone scan shows Mets to Hip and adrendal glad. The dct has now canceled radiation to lung and lymph node cause of the new met locations... Says to go back on chemo....why they can't do radiation to the lung area to help breathing is beyond me.....

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My sister is having troubles with my aunt too. My aunt does not have cancer, but she is in a nursing home because she needs a lot of help now. My sister has been knocking herself out catering to Auntie's every whim plus all the headaches of selling her house. She is real nasty to my sister. My sister is fed up. I guess she took a break from her for a while. My sister handles her bills and banking and takes a turn at laundry and everything. I think she was being so nasty because the house had to be sold and then she has to turn most of the money over to Medicaid. I figured they would try to recoup some money after all the medical bills they have paid for her not to mention the cost of the nursing home. Somtimes you just have to give yourself a little break. Hang in there!


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