Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation treatments are most often used for cancers affecting the head and neck, lungs, breast, or abdominal area. The radiation therapy process is painless and usually takes much less time than chemotherapy.
- Learn all you can. Doing so will allow you to ask more questions and understand your treatment plan. It takes time to learn the entire radiation therapy procedure, but taking time to learn as much as possible will help you prepare for the possible side effects.
- Get support from your family and friends who might know something about radiation therapy treatments/radiation oncology or know someone who has gone through these treatments/radiation oncology treatments. They may have some helpful tips for you.
- Take your time to research the treatment and make sure you fully understand it before moving forward with it. One of the most important things that people tend to forget when getting ready for radiation therapy is researching the procedure itself, its side effects, and finding out what those might be. This way, you can start taking precautions to lessen the side effects as much as possible or at least help relieve/manage them if they happen.
- Talk to your doctor and find out your treatment options. Knowing what you should expect and when it can be safely started, during the procedure, and after will help you prepare for the side effects of radiation treatment.
- Know what you’re willing to accept in terms of side effects if they do occur. For example, if you know that you can handle some pain initially, but may get tired at times, then it would be ok to take the pain medication while going through treatment.
Radiation Therapy is a great way to fight off cancer and keep it at bay for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the side effects can be quite severe for some people. However, it is possible to prepare for the worst. If it does happen, you can minimize the side effects of radiation therapy and make your recovery process much smoother and quicker.