Skin changes usually occur one to two weeks after your treatment begins and may last one to two weeks after your last treatment. You may shower or bathe throughout your radiation therapy. Your nurse will recommend a mild soap for you to use. It is important to keep skin folds clean and dry.
Bathing and shaving: Skin can become very sensitive during radiation therapy. You can reduce the risk of side effects by following these tips: Wash the treated skin gently every day with warm water. Washing helps remove bacteria from your skin, which can cause an infection.
Personal clothing, sheets, bedding, washcloths, and towels should be collected and washed separately for the first 48 hours. After washing, run the washing machine through an extra wash cycle to clear out any residual radioiodine before using it for others.
It really depends on the amount of radiation you get. People who get very high doses may not see their hair return. In the meantime, wash your hair gently with a mild shampoo and pat it dry. I'd also avoid using a hair dryer.
The radiation stays in the body for anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Most people receive internal radiation therapy for just a few minutes. Sometimes, internal radiation therapy can be given for more time. If so, they stay in a private room to limit other people's exposure to radiation.
For the first 2 weeks of treatment, wash your hair once a week with a gentle shampoo, such as a baby shampoo. After 2 weeks, use only warm water on your hair and scalp, without shampoo. Dry gently with a towel.
Protect the treated area from the sun.
Your skin may be extra sensitive to sunlight. If possible, cover the treated skin with dark-colored or UV-protective clothing before going outside. Ask your cancer care team if you should use sunscreen.
Sleep alone for the first few (3 - 4) days. Avoid kissing or sexual intercourse for three to four days after treatment. Do not sleep together for an entire night until a week after treatment. Avoid prolonged physical contact, particularly with children and pregnant women; limit to 15 minutes.
In our study, 63% of patients sensed a burnt smell and 16% sensed a chemical smell; therefore, these results also suggest that odor sensations during radiotherapy are caused by ozone.
The radiation doesn't travel very far from the treatment area. So it is usually safe to be with other people. However, as a precaution you will need to avoid very close contact with children and pregnant women for a time.
Some patients worry that undergoing radiation therapy can be harmful to others because they are radioactive. For example, patients sometimes think they can't cuddle with their partner or hold a grandchild on their lap until after treatment. However, most patients don't need to worry about being radioactive.
Radiation therapy to the pelvis (including reproductive organs, the bladder, colon and rectum) can irritate the bladder and urinary tract. These problems often start several weeks after radiation therapy begins and go away several weeks after treatment has been completed.
Weight loss during radiotherapy and one month after treatment. During radiotherapy, 46 (65.7%) patients lost weight, with a mean weight loss of (4.73 ± 3.91) kg, which corresponded to a (6.55 ± 4.84)% net reduction from their baseline weights.
Meal and snack ideas for a soft diet: Fresh or canned fruit with cottage cheese or yogurt. Sliced banana and nut butter (natural peanut, almond or cashew butter) in yogurt. Hot cereal (oatmeal, cream of rice or cream of wheat) cooked in milk or soy milk with nut butter added.
Most side effects only last a few days or weeks but some of the effects of radiotherapy, such as tiredness, may continue for a couple of months after the end of your treatment. However, any effects should gradually improve if you have enough rest and eat well.
Radiotherapy can cause tiredness because the body is using up your energy reserves to repair healthy cells damaged by the radiotherapy. If you are taking steroids, you might also find that you feel extremely tired when you stop taking them. Travelling to the hospital each day for treatment can also make you tired.
Treatment for cancer, including radiation and chemotherapy, can also cause sleep problems because it can throw off patients' sleep cycles, possibly due to hospitalizations (which can interfere with regular sleep patterns) or because of physical symptoms (such as pain) that can make it difficult to sleep.
Breast cancer: Women with breast cancer have an overall 30% chance of recurrence. Many cases happen within five years of completing the initial treatment. Cervical cancer: Of those with invasive cervical cancer, an estimated 35% will have a recurrence.
Almost all patients are able to drive while receiving radiotherapy treatment. However, with some types of cancer, driving may NOT be recommended due to fatigue or strong pain medication. Your physician will be able to address your specific case.
“Small doses of radiation may be administered daily over a period ranging from several days to several weeks. The treated tissue does not continue to hold the radiation after the therapy session ends. So patients receiving external beam radiation need not worry about transmitting radiation to their loved ones.”
Do not scrub the skin with loofas or gritty soaps, or massage area of treatment. Shampoos approved by the Palomar Radiation Oncology Department are: Baby Shampoo, Aveno (Oatmeal), Aloe Vera shampoo (Trader Joe's) for sensitive skin. Consult with the nurses before you use any lotions or ointments on this area.
Radiation affects cancer cells and healthy cells. This includes the cells that make hair grow. This can lead to hair loss (alopecia). There is nothing you can do to prevent hair loss when getting radiation therapy.