Cover the area getting radiation with clothing or hats to protect it. After your radiotherapy has finished treatment has finished. Factors that can affect that risk include the amount of radiation used and the area that was treated. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. It’s an exhaustion that doesn’t get better with rest and can keep you from doing the things you normally do, like going to work or spending time with family and friends. Gabriel August 6th, 2014 at 12:13 PM . Late side effects, such as lung or heart problems, may take years to show up and are often permanent when they do. If you feel … Radiation Therapy for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, Cancer Treatment: What You Can Do to Get Ready, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, Take care of your health. Many of the long-term or late effects of radiation therapy can be managed better if identified early. Tackle them first when you’re feeling up to it. Other early side effects you might have usually depend on where you get the radiation. But others can linger for months or years or may never completely go away. Make sure you listen to their concerns, too. Others won't. “Feelings of weakness or weariness will go away gradually after your treatment is finished,” says Dr. Wilson. Radiation is the gift that keeps on giving, he will feel the effects for a few or more months after the last … If you lose hair on top of your head, be sure to wear a hat or a scarf to protect your scalp from the sun when you go outside. Some people feel … All rights reserved. Radiation finished on Friday, we expected that she would slowly start to regain energy (and based on what we thought the Dr said) by the end of 2-4 weeks would feel almost like her old self … Your skin may also become dry, flaky, or itchy. Looking after yourself The cancer cells may then keep dying for weeks or months after the end of treatment. Radiation for Cancer Pain: How Does It Work? If you find you need a nap every day, take it at a regularly scheduled hour, but try not to nap after 2 p.m. Keep to a routine. You may have few or only mild side effects from your treatment; someone else may have a lot of problems or very severe ones. The most common early side effects are fatigue and skin problems. Some side effects of chemotherapy only happen while you're having treatment and disappear quickly after it's over. Life after … Women shouldn’t try to get pregnant during radiation therapy because it can hurt the baby. Work with a counselor or take a class at your cancer treatment center to learn ways to conserve energy, reduce stress, and keep yourself from focusing on the fatigue. And you’ll still need to protect yourself from the sun even after radiation therapy has ended. It began to get better at around the 3-4 week mark, so I think the worst is behind you now! You will not see or feel the radiation. If you have continued feelings of sadness, have trouble getting up in the morning or have lost motivation to do things that previously gave you pleasure, you may be experiencing depression. After treatment, your risk of infection, bleeding, and skin problems may still be high. Late side effects from radiation therapy take months and sometimes years to show up and usually don’t go away. Talk to your GP, as counselling or medication – even for a short time – may help. You can have radiation therapy before, during, or after … Brush your teeth often with fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush. Life after cancer treatment can present its own challenges. This is quite common among people who have had cancer. This treatment can cause side effects, but they’re different for everyone. To help manage these side effects: Radiation therapy to the head can sometimes cause hearing problems. The ones you have depend on the type of radiation you get, how much you get, the part of your body that gets treatment, and how healthy you are overall. They will also suggest who to call if you have any concerns. But if you want to have kids later on, you should talk with your doctor to see if you should use a sperm bank before treatment begins. It may be some time before you know whether the radiation therapy has controlled the cancer. Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. Follow-up care might include more cancer treatment, rehabilitation, and counseling. Life after cancer treatment Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long. View who reviewed this content. Don't smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol. They will tell you how to look after the treatment area and recommend ways to manage side effects. Radiation therapy usually does not have an immediate effect, and it could take days, weeks or months to see any change in the cancer. Ask a health professional or someone who’s been there, or find a support group or forum. The actual treatment itself may take another 1 or 2 minutes. One reason might be that it hardens the wax in your ears. Cancer Council 13 11 20 can help you connect with other people who have had cancer, and provide you with information about the emotional and practical aspects of living well after cancer. This type of doctor specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer. Here are some tips to help you take care of your physical health after … ", American Cancer Society: "Radiation Therapy Effects," “A Guide to Radiation Therapy.”, American Brain Tumor Association: "Help With Side Effects - Radiation Therapy.". It takes a while because a major organ in your body was damaged and the radiation damage continues even after you finish treatment. They might be able to help. It also can stop periods and cause other symptoms of menopause. For most people, the cancer experience doesn’t end on the last day of treatment. Avoid putting anything hot or cold on the area unless the doctor tells you to. It also can seem different from day to day, which makes it hard to plan around it. For tumors that divide slowly, the mass may shrink over a long, extended period after radiation stops. Dr Madhavi Chilkuri, Radiation Oncologist, Townsville Cancer Centre, The Townsville Hospital, and Dean, RANZCR Faculty of Radiation Oncology, QLD; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Patricia Hanley, Consumer; Prof Michael Hofman, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Physician, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Leanne Hoy, Cancer Nurse Consultant, GenesisCare, VIC; Sharon King, Accredited Practising Dietitian, TAS; Dr Yoo Young (Dominique) Lee, Radiation Oncology Consultant, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Dr Wendy Phillips, Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Katrina Rech, Radiation Therapist and Quality Systems Manager, GenesisCare, SA. Try eating five or six small meals spread out through the day instead of three large ones. If the side effects or complications are more or if the cancer … Radiation can cause problems in your mouth that include: Tell your cancer team about any of these problems so they can help you feel better. To stay healthy after chemotherapy, your doctor will give you a plan for follow-up care. The fatigue you feel from cancer and radiation therapy is different from other times you may have felt tired. You will have regular check-ups with the radiation oncologist at the treatment centre. Patients who have had radiation therapy also need take special care of their skin, since sensitivities and treatment-induced burns, infections and rashes may last for several weeks after your treatments end.Also wear sunscreen and be vigilant about it for at least a year, as your skin will be more sun-sensitive after radiation … But skin reactions usually settle down two to four weeks after treatment is completed. For more on this, see Living well after cancer. 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