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Doctor insights on: Will Radiation Therapy Make Me Even More Tired Than I Already Am

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Will radiation therapy make me even more tired than I already am?

Will radiation therapy make me even more tired than I already am?

It might: Depends on why you are tired now. It can be additive if the radiation causes tiredness. But getting fatigue does not happen to every patient that gets radiation. ...Read more

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Gamma Rays (Definition)

This is light of extremely short wavelengths typically produced either among the stars / in cosmic rays or by radioactive element decay. Gamma rays form the background of normal radiation in which we all live; it is substantially greater than the exposure we get from imaging scans or should get from ...Read more


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Doesn't radiation therapy increase cancer cell growth?

Doesn't radiation therapy increase cancer cell growth?

Not really: When given appropiately, radiation helps with local control. Keeping the tumor from recurring where it started). But yes exposure to radiation can be a cause for second cancers-( tho rare) most commonly sarcomas in the area of the radiated tissue). ...Read more

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Is there a reason I can't take antioxidants while i'm getting radiation therapy?

Is there a reason I can't take antioxidants while i'm getting radiation therapy?

Yes: Radiation takes advantage of free radicals formed in the field of radiation to cause dna damage targeted at cancer cells. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers, so they can potentially reduce the effectiveness of radiation treatments. It is best to avoid mega doses of antioxidants in the diet during and up to 6 weeks after radiation treatments. ...Read more

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Why can't my father be around my children while he's having radiation therapy for his prostate?

Why can't my father be around my children while he's having radiation therapy for his prostate?

Seeds /y radioactive: Radioactive seed implant of prostate makes your father slightly radioactive for about 6 months when the amount of radioactivity has decreased significantly. Children have young organs prone to injury from radiation. Other forms of radiation like external beam radiation, imrt, igrt, cyberknife, high-dose-rate brachy therapy do not make your father radioactive. No risk to be around children. ...Read more

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Can i exercise while i’m having radiation therapy? I exercise almost every day, and i don’t feel right when i don’t. Now i’m about to start radiation therapy. Will i still be able to exercise?

Can i exercise while i’m having radiation therapy? I exercise almost every day, and i don’t feel right when i don’t. Now i’m about to start radiation therapy. Will i still be able to exercise?

Yes: Generally, we recommend maintaining activity during radiation therapy. Fatigue is a common complaint with radiation, active patients tend to do better. Most other symptoms with radiation therapy tend to be related to the area of the body treated. Side effects and overall recommendations would depend on region treated and if chemotherapy is required. Consult with your radiation oncologist. ...Read more

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For what reason aren't patients shielded when they are receiving radiation therapy?

Shields are built in: Radiation therapy machines have the shields built in to them. These shape the radiation to fit the area of the body that needs to be treated and protects the rest. Additionally, it takes many inches if lead to block the radiation used for external beam treatment and a person cannot wear a shield thick enough to block the beam. ...Read more

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Is mitomycin-n, an injectible medicine, a possible alternative to radiation therapy for cheek carcinoma?

No: Chemotherapy alone is not generally used for treating cancers of the head & neck. Surgery may be an alternative to radiation therapy for cheek cancers. Depending on the extent of the cancer, surgery could be significantly more morbid than radiation therapy. You might consider a consultation at a multi-disciplinary program with head & neck surgeons, radiation oncologists & medical oncologists. ...Read more

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Does age make it more difficult for a person to tolerate radiation therapy?

Does age make it more difficult for a person to tolerate radiation therapy?

Not necessarily: Radiation tolerance has more to do with what is being radiated and the levels of radiation. Also everyone has a different genetic composition that dictates how they tolerate treatment. So a young patient may have a terrible time while the old patient has no problems. ...Read more

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Would I still be able to have children in the future after radiation therapy?

Depends: Radiation can reduce fertility depending on the tissues radiated in the pelvis (ovaries, uterus, testes, prostate, etc.), the dose they received and whether your also were treated with other therapies that can cause infertility (chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, surgery.). ...Read more

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Can radiation therapy cause colitis?

Can radiation therapy cause colitis?

Yes: This is inflammation of the bowel lining. This can be a result of radiation or chemotherapy. But this inflammation can also be infectious or autoimmune as well. If its radiation caused it has to be by radiation aimed at the bowel and can be treated with diet and drugs. ...Read more

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Can radiation therapy cause bleeding?

Yes: Often radiation is used to stop bleeding, such as coughing up blood from a lung cancer, or bleeding from the vagina from a cervix or vaginal cancer. However if the skin in an area peels excessively or the linings of the oral or intestinal tract such as the rectum can bleed temporarily and often heal. However long term changes can lead to periodic bleeding from an area such as the rectum. ...Read more

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Does radiation therapy make me radioactive?

Does radiation therapy make me radioactive?

Generally NO: Most people are treated with external radiation. This leaves no residual radiation in the body, it's like having an x-ray. Once the machine is off, there is no more radiation. Some people are treated with permanent radioactive implants. These then stay in the body and give off radiation for a while. You wouldn't be radioactive, but radiation could be detected coming from you for a while. ...Read more

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Does radiation therapy change your body odor?

Does radiation therapy change your body odor?

Radiation does not: Radiation does not change one's body odor. Body odor is influenced by a variety of factors, (eg, diet, lifestyle, gender, genetics, health and medication). Radiation has never been shown to directly alter one's body odor. However, these factors above can be indirectly altered as a result of radiation's side effects (i.e. Change in oral flora due to mucositis, change in diet due to diarrhea, etc.). ...Read more

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Can radiation therapy contribute to my colitis?

Yes : Please see my answer to a very related question. This transient symptom can be managed with medication if severe. ...Read more

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Will my beard grow back after radiation therapy?

Will my beard grow back after radiation therapy?

Possibly not: There can be some thining of the hair in the treatment field of radiation. Thining of facial hair after head and neck radiation is a possibility same with hair loss of the scalp after whole brain radiation. ...Read more

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What are the side effects of the radiation therapy?

What are the side effects of the radiation therapy?

Too many: Side effects depend the area of the body which is being radiated- dry mouth & mouth sores (oral cancers), diarrhea (pelvic radiation), shortness of breath (lung radiation), hair loss (brain radiation), stomach ulcers and bleeding (stomach radiation). General side effects can include severe fatigue, low blood counts, skin rash and discoloration. ...Read more

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What is the price of treatment - radiation therapy?

It varies: Radiation therapy is commonly used to control cancer. This requires high tech machines which cost millions of dollars to install. Accordingly the treatment: radiation therapy is expensive, typically runs into tens of thousands of dollars for a full course of treatment which can take up 3 to 6 weeks of daily treatments. Overall costs range from $20k for short course treatment to 100k for longer one. ...Read more

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Can patients getting radiation therapy still exercise?

Can patients getting radiation therapy still exercise?

Yes: Listen to your body. Cardiovascular exercise specially encouraged. Your energy may run out quicker than it did. Stay hydrated and get rest as needed. Avoid chlorinated pool swimming and hut tubs that can dry up skin in women that are getting their breast radiated. ...Read more

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Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
285 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