Radiotherapy is often used in lung cancer treatment. Just like other treatments, it can cause side effects. The side effects vary from person to person depending upon a number of health conditions. The type of cancer, its location, the dose of radiation therapy etc. are some of the factors responsible for variation in side effects.
Why Radiotherapy Causes Side Effects?
During the treatment of lung cancer, high doses of radiotherapy are given to destroy the cancer cells. The side effects often occur as the therapy damages healthy cells and tissues as well. Though advancement in technology makes it more precise and thus, leading to fewer side effects.
Side Effects of Radiotherapy
The common side effects involved with radiotherapy include:
Some people may experience dryness, itching or peeling of skin. The skin changes can range from mild redness to blistering.
Tiredness and Fatigue
Fatigue is a common side effect associated with radiotherapy. During the treatment, you may feel tired and this tends to get worse as the treatment progresses.
Sore Mouth and Throat
You may find it painful to swallow food owing to sore mouth and throat. Some people experience difficulty in swallowing. Your doctor can give you diet sheet to advise you. You should drink plenty of water and eat small amounts of food rather than big meals.
Hair loss often occurs when radiation enters the body. Hair starts to fall out two to three weeks after the treatment and may take several months to grow back.
Long Term Side Effects
Most of the radiotherapy side effects go away gradually in weeks or months after the lung cancer treatment. But, there are some side effects that can continue or take some months to recover.
So, these were some of the common side effects and it is not an exhaustive list. If you experience any abnormal condition, contact health care professional immediately.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.