Radiotherapy

SIDE EFFECTS OF RADIOTHERAPY


Early side effects

Radiotherapy side effects can occur during your radiotherapy, or immediately following it. Not everyone will experience side effects as everyone is different. Your Clinical Oncologist and Radiographers will have discussed the potential side effects and the possibility of developing those when you had your treatment. You may have been given a booklet at the time; if you still have this, it may help to look at the common side effects listed there. There are suggestions and telephone numbers which may help.

If you do experience side-effects, do not worry, they are normal reactions to treatment and are usually temporary. Side effects may be more severe if you also receive chemotherapy before, during, or after your radiotherapy. Most of these side effects go away about 2 months after radiotherapy is finished.


Late side effects

Late side effects may first occur 6 or more months after radiotherapy is over. They vary by the part of your body that was treated and the dose of radiation you received. Late side effects may include bowel or bladder problems (including diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, faecal or urinary incontinence), lymphoedema (swelling caused by a build up of tissue fluid), mouth problems (including jaw stiffness and dry mouth), and secondary cancer (very rare). Everyone is different and much depends on the area of the body you have had treated. If you think you may be developing late side effects please telephone the Beacon Centre Radiotherapy Department on 01823 342933 where someone will be able to help you. .