8 doctors weighed in:

Are the side effects of radiation therapy usually worse than those of chemotherapy?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Not generally.

Radiation is a local or regional treatment.
Chemotherapy goes all over in the bloodstream. Therefore chemotherapy has a greater chance to affect more things and have more potential side effects. However each patient is different and radiation can be worse than chemotherapy if it causes significant side effect where it is being aimed. This depends then on the actual area being radiated.

In brief: Not generally.

Radiation is a local or regional treatment.
Chemotherapy goes all over in the bloodstream. Therefore chemotherapy has a greater chance to affect more things and have more potential side effects. However each patient is different and radiation can be worse than chemotherapy if it causes significant side effect where it is being aimed. This depends then on the actual area being radiated.
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
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Dr. Carl Van Wey
Radiation Oncology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Radiation side effec

It all depends on the type of chemotherapy and the part of the body being radiated.
In my experience, most patients report that the radiation was easier than the chemo, e.g. With breast ca., but there are exceptions.

In brief: Radiation side effec

It all depends on the type of chemotherapy and the part of the body being radiated.
In my experience, most patients report that the radiation was easier than the chemo, e.g. With breast ca., but there are exceptions.
Dr. Carl Van Wey
Dr. Carl Van Wey
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Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Adverse effects

Depends.
When few normal tissues are exposed to radiotherapy, it causes few side effects. The bigger the fields, the bigger the toxicity. I switched from medical oncology to radiatin therapy because i thought (and still do) that the benefits were more universal, and the side effects fewer.

In brief: Adverse effects

Depends.
When few normal tissues are exposed to radiotherapy, it causes few side effects. The bigger the fields, the bigger the toxicity. I switched from medical oncology to radiatin therapy because i thought (and still do) that the benefits were more universal, and the side effects fewer.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
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Dr. Reza Shirazi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Yes/No

The side effects are different.
Radiation side effects are local. It depends on the site being treated. For example, redness irritation of skin if breast is being treated, soreness in the mouth if an oral lesion is being treated. Chemotherapy effects are systemic. It can lower blood counts and have systemic side effects.

In brief: Yes/No

The side effects are different.
Radiation side effects are local. It depends on the site being treated. For example, redness irritation of skin if breast is being treated, soreness in the mouth if an oral lesion is being treated. Chemotherapy effects are systemic. It can lower blood counts and have systemic side effects.
Dr. Reza Shirazi
Dr. Reza Shirazi
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