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Doctor insights on: What Should I Expect After Radiation Therapy For Head And Neck Cancer

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,342 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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What should I expect from radiation and chemotherapy?

What should I expect from radiation and chemotherapy?

It depends: There are many, many chemotherapy drugs and combinations. Radiation may be administered to different parts of the body. It depends on the chemotherapy drugs and the site radiation will be administered to that will determine the types of effects that may be encountered. ...Read more

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I am about to undergo radiation therapy after a prostatectomy. What side effects, if any, can I expect?

I am about to undergo radiation therapy after a prostatectomy. What side effects, if any, can I expect?

Bladder and bowel : We use radiation therapy following prostatectomy for several reasons. But the side effects are the same. Irritation of the lower urinary tract with frequency and urgency are common as well as some potential discomfort with urination. Also there may be some change in bowel movements that can usually be controlled with diet. Fatigue is common but can be combatted with some regular exercise. ...Read more

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What can I do for hematoma after right breast lumpectomy for cancer?

What can I do for hematoma after right breast lumpectomy for cancer?

Support: Initially, ice applied to the area in short periods can help. After 3-4 days, switch to an occasional heating pad. Wear a good support bra. Occasionally, if the hematoma is too large and tense, it may need to be drained. This is done by reopening the incision, evacuating the blood clot, and reclosing the wound over a soft drain. Hope this helps. Good luck. ...Read more

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Is it normal for my head to swell after radiation therapy?

Is it normal for my head to swell after radiation therapy?

No: However if your head is noticeably swollen in your face and neck, the doctor needs to evaluate you for superior vena cava syndrome in which the cancer in the chest obstructed the flow out of the neck and head. This can happen even when getting radiation to the chest for lung cancer despite being the treatment for the syndrome as well. Another possibility would be developing venous thrombosis. ...Read more

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What kind of life can one expect after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for throat cancer?

What kind of life can one expect after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for throat cancer?

See below: Chemort for throat cancer is some of the toughest treatment around. The side effects are unavoidable but frequently make patients miserable. Mouth and throat pain, dry mouth, and poor taste are nearly universal during treatment. Afterwards, taste returns but is altered, dry mouth usually improves some, and pain typically resolves. There are long term sequelae, but most people adapt and are ok. ...Read more

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If my head CT scan radiation gonna cause a brain cancer to me i need to start worry about it after 5 years or 20 years and more after the scan?Scared

If my head CT scan radiation gonna cause a brain cancer to me i  need to start worry about it after 5 years or 20 years and more after the scan?Scared

Very unlikely: If you are asking about the risk after a single head ct scan it is not measureable and is not considered a risk for developing a brain tumor. If for some reason you have many routine head ct scans especially if done throughout childhood there is a very small slight increase risk of developing a tumor but far less than .5%. The low dose of radiation from modern ct scans is negligible if used safe. ...Read more

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What can I do for this pain in the breast six months after radiation?

What can I do for this pain in the breast six months after radiation?

Breast radiation?: If it was radiation to the breast itself, then adhesions can occur where the inside breast tissue sticks to other tissue causing pain and reduced breast mobility. Usually, this is relieved by breast massage to break up the adhesive areas, manually Check with your radiation oncologist if this is the case for a "2nd opinion" ...Read more

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How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

4 to 6 months: The side effects of the skin need to heal and breast heals and any scarring internally improve. That takes 4 to 6 months. Even then that is the baseline mammogram and surgery and radiation changes will be seen. Then future mammograms will show these changes are improving. ...Read more

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Hi how much time is appropriate for physical therapy for trismus after radical neck surgery for buccal cancer ?

Hi how much time is appropriate for physical therapy for trismus after radical neck surgery for buccal cancer ?

How much time for PT: Hi how much time is appropriate for physical therapy for trismus after radical neck surgery for buccal cancer ? ANS: My assessment is that the PT person will do what is best for you as they know you best. ...Read more

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If I get radiation and chemotherapy for my esophageal cancer and have clean CT and pet scans, will I still need surgery?

Maybe: Therapy for esophageal cancer is dependent on the stage. There are IV relative stages. In the physically fit patient, the upfront therapy for stage i and iia is surgery. For stages iib and iii, the therapy of choice is chemoradiation followed by surgery. For stage iv, chemotherapy +/- radiation and no surgery. That being said 15-20% have complete eradication of tumor after chemoradiation. ...Read more

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Why would my doctor not recommend radiation therapy after a lumpectomy?

Why would my doctor not recommend radiation therapy after a lumpectomy?

Low risk to recurr: There is a good chance the type of disease was dcis (ductal carcinoma in situ). This is a pre-invasive disease ( not cancer yet). Radiation can be avoided in the most favorable group of patients with dcis since chance of recurrence is very low. Typical conditions met are: 1) large clear margins of resection was obtained, 2) the disease is not too large (size) , 3)not too aggressive ( low-grade). ...Read more

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After surgery for head and neck cancer, how long before you could eat solid food again?

After surgery for head and neck cancer, how long before you could eat solid food again?

Depends: Depends on the what structures are being operated on and how much reconstruction needs to be done. Extensive surgery involving the tongue, base of tongue, back of throat (oropharynx/hypopharynx) and larynx (voice box) will take longer to heal and therefore more time needed before you are back to eating solid food easily. ...Read more

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Why would my oncologist want me to have a radical hysterectomy after already getting radiation and chemo?

Why would my oncologist want me to have a radical hysterectomy after already getting radiation and chemo?

Should ask him/her: Radical hysterectomy is most often performed in cervical cancer. However, it is not usually performed in conjunction wtih radiation or chemotherapy except in special circumstances. Therefore, you should ask your doctor to explain why this course is being recommended. ...Read more

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I am about to have a radical prostatectomy. What is the criteria for follow-up radiation therapy?

I am about to have a radical prostatectomy. What is the criteria for follow-up radiation therapy?

Latest update: There are two very recent clinical studies which showed high risk patients, that is patients with positive margins, seminal vesicles involvement and cancer spreading beyond the capsule, will get benefits from early adjuvant radiation after surgery rather than waiting until psa goes up. They have a better chance of controlling and surviving the prostate cancer if they receive early radiation. ...Read more

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For what length of time can I live with tonsil cancer if chemo and radiation don't work?

For what length of time can I live with tonsil cancer if chemo and radiation don't work?

No one can tell: We asses based on life expectancy: years, years to months, months to weeks, weeks to days. With ongoing reassesment. At some point chemo, XRT is no longer recommended , it may even shorten survival. Palliative care includes support to caregiver & patient, pain control, decision for home hospice, emotional and spiritual support, feeding the very weak. Clergy. Etc. ...Read more

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How much radiation and chemotherapy am I likely to need for breast cancer?

How much radiation and chemotherapy am I likely to need for breast cancer?

Variable.: Following a lumpectomy, radiation therapy is usually given "from the outiside-in" over 7 weeks; select people may be treated over 4 weeks. An alternate method is to treat "from the inside-out" via brachytherapy over 5 days. Chemotherapy, when indicated, is typically given in 4-8 doses separated by 2-3 weeks over 3-6 months; Herceptin (trastuzumab) is usually given over an entire year. ...Read more

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Can I get radiation therapy for breast cancer if I have a port-a-cath in place?

Can I get radiation therapy for breast cancer if I have a port-a-cath in place?

Yes: The mediport is used for chemotherapy and the patient may also need radiation. It should have been placed on the opposite side to not interfere with radiation. If not it can always be moved or removed. ...Read more

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Can I still get radiation therapy after a breast reconstruction?

Can I still get radiation therapy after a breast reconstruction?

Yes: It's not ideal but it can be done safely. The patient is treated like any other breast cancer patient without reconstruction. ...Read more

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Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
289 doctors shared insights

Radiation Therapy (Definition)

Radiation therapy is a common cancer treatment with the potential to have harmful side effects on a ...Read more