A member asked:

Is radiation therapy painful?

10 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Mitchell Kamrava answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

No: Radiation therapy is essentially a high energy x-ray. So just like getting a ct scan is not painful getting radiation therapy is also not painful.

Answered 4/20/2020

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Dr. Bahman Daneshfar answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

No: Radiation is an x-ray which is invisible and painless. It's side effects depending on where and what organs are being treated could lead to discomfort or pain.

Answered 8/14/2018

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Dr. Gene Wong answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

Not directly: One cannot feel radiation upon exposure since it is very penetrating electromagnetive waves of energy and you will not know that you are exposed. However, the side effects of radiation particularly inflammation and swelling can cause pain but that's indirect result from radiation.

Answered 8/14/2018

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Dr. Andrew Turrisi answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

A quibble?: The radiation is odorless, tasteless and invisible, and enters and exits matter without causing pain in creastures that can feel it, but reactions of body linings (mucosa) and skin can be harsh and severe enough to cause pain and suffering. Head and neck cancer is common, but some breast cancer ski reactions can be quite unpleasant for short periods. We have things to help.

Answered 9/28/2016

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Dr. Jeffrey Buchsbaum answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

Generally no: Photon and particle therapy beams cannot be felt. What can hurt is if the tissue being treated gets damaged - sometimes even the worlds finest radiation doctor cannot prevent this given patient genetics. When a tumor dies, it can swell. Stretching tissue can really cause pain. If skill or other tissue gets damages (nerves), it can feel painful often days later. In general it does not hurt.

Answered 1/4/2014

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