Can patients live at home while they're getting radiation therapy?

Yes. When using a radiation machine there is no radioactivity left in the patient and no reason they can't go home. When radioactive medication or seeds are left in the patient there will be complex rules to follow to minimize exposure from radiation to others or their environment when the patient goes home. There are centers who will keep a patient when radioactive substances are left in the patient.
Yes. Radiation is standardly given as an outpatient treatment. It is typically given daily monday-friday and takes about 20-30 minutes per each session. There are some cases of brachytherapy where a patient has to remain in the hospital but external beam radiation treatment is standardly an outpatient treatment.
Certainly. Modern external beam radiotherapy is most frequently delivered on an outpatient basis.

Related Questions

What are the most common side effects of radiation therapy that patients get?

Depends on technique. Classic radiation is given via external beams to whole breast over 6-7 weeks with primarily local affect like mild repeated sunburn (redness, irritation-more extreme may incl. Blistering or peeling). Newer techniques if a larger daily dose cn be given can reduce the time to 3-4 weeks. Other option is accelerated partial breast usually w/implanted device and seeds over 5 days. Read more...
Varies. Radiation affects different body parts in different ways. Early stage breast cancer relatively few symptoms - typically some fatigue, sometimes a mild sunburn like skin irritation in the radiated areas. Base of the tongue, much harsher side effects (and it is often combined with chemotherapy). They all get severe dry mouth, and may be unable to eat for awhile. Ask your rad onc doc for specifics. Read more...

Can patients getting radiation therapy still exercise?

Yes. If you are asking you probably feel like it and have the energy. Do not push yourself and listen to your body. If the treatment leaves you feeling normal and exercise makes you feel better then it is okay. If you have a skin reaction that is significant sweating may irritated it. Make sure none of these things like skin effects, low blood counts or just fatigue are going on and it will be okay. Read more...
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...
Sure! I like to encourage patients to continue their normal routine as much as possible while getting radiation therapy. So if a patient exercises regularly, he/she should likely be able to continue to exercise during treatment. Exercise certainly contributes to a sense of well-being. Discuss your exercise routine with your radiation oncology team. Read more...

As a career not a patient what's the difference between radiation onclogy and radiation therapy?

Sort of the same . Radiation oncology is a medical specialty. The radiation oncologist is a physician who administers radiation therapy in conjunction with other professionals (rad techs, dosimetrists, physicists, nurses, etc). Read more...

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...

Can radiation therapy patients be around infants afterward?

Typically, yes. If you received external beam radiation therapy (the most common), there will be no radiation concerns for anyone around you. This technology is very similar to any x-ray you have had in the past. If you had internal radiation (brachytherapy) and the radioactive source has been removed, you will not be emitting any radiation. Ask your radiation oncologist about these details. Read more...

Is radiation therapy safe when the patient is has a vp shunt?

Yes. The vp shunt is not directly effected by the radiation treatment. Indirectly, a shunt can be blocked by pressure placed on it from surrounding tissues which can happen from tumor growth or tissue swelling on the tubes. The tissue swelling from radiation is typically not sufficient to cause a blockage in these shunts. Read more...

We have a cancer patient taking radiation therapy, should my 3 years old son has contact with him? Is there certain time we should wait after session?

Radiaiton-ok. We do tell pregnant people (and small children) not to help people who have chemotherapy in their system to the bathroom or with bodily fluids but not for radiation. You are not emitting radioactivity in high doses because you got high doses of radiation. We give total body irradiation and still are safe to take care of them. You just can't be in the room while they are receiving the radiation. Read more...
This is fine. Radiation does not make a person radioactive or a danger to be around. This would be a great time for your patient perhaps to enjoy being with Junior. Read more...
Radiation exposure. It is totally safe for anyone including young children and babies to be around someone having radiation therapy, the patient is not “radioactive”, and poses absolutely no danger to anyone. Read more...
Depends on type. External-beam radiation therapy does not make a person radioactive at any time. However, with internal radiation therapy (also called brachytherapy), the implants placed in the patient's body deliver most of the radiation to the cancer. This type of radiation requires precautions to prevent exposure to other people. Read more...
External beam. radiotherapy doesn't make a person radioactive, so there is no problem with contact. Read more...