External Radiation Therapy and Some Its Side Effects

Radiation therapy has been classified into two types. External radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy are the two different types of radiation therapies. High energy x-rays are used to destroy cancer cells. 50 per cent of the patients suffering from cancer receive radiation therapy. External radiation therapy can be used alone or with surgery or chemotherapy and is extremely effective in destroying different types of cancer. This is an effective tool to shrink cancer tumors that cause pain, blockage, or bleeding.

There are some side effects of External radiation therapy. For each individual the side effects are different. It depends on the amount of radiation a patient is receiving and the part of the body that is being treated. Generally these side effects are not observed until two or three weeks after treatment starts. In most cases, these are not serious side effects and they go away within a few weeks after treatment starts. Some lucky individuals do not experience any side effects at all.

Some of the most common side effects are as given below:

Fatigue: Generally two or three weeks after the treatment starts, you may feel weary. There is nothing abnormal about it. It will fade away few weeks after the treatment is finished. If you still feel the same, try to get more sleep.

Skin Problems: The site of the body being treated needs extra care during the radiation therapy.
After a few treatments your skin may turn red and the skin may begin to itch, scale and darken. These temporary changes will fade away slowly.


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