Does Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Have Any Side Effects?
What Is Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer?
Radiation therapy utilizes high energy of radiation to kill or prevent cancer cells from growing, dividing, or spreading to other areas of the body. It causes less harm to neighbouring healthy cells because it is targeted only the tumor area.
Types of Radiation Therapy
External Beam Radiation is most frequently used to treat Breast Cancer. A machine outside your body targets the region impacted by the disease with a radiation beam.
Brachytherapy provides cancer radiation through something in your body that has been implanted.
Proton Therapy only sends targeted radiation to your breast tissue, not to your heart or lungs.
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy
Depending on the dose and type, you may notice these during treatment:
- Red, swollen, warm, sensitive skin — it might feel like you have a sunburn. It may become moist and tender or even peel.
- Changes in skin sensation
- Less sweat where you were treated
- Breast swelling
- Enlarged pores on your breast
- Damage to fatty tissue in the breast
- Hair loss
- Slight darkening of the skin
Radiation affects each person differently. To help keep your energy up during radiation treatments:
- Get enough rest
- Pace yourself, and plan frequent rest periods
- Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet
Good nutrition will also assist you in recovering, curing and fighting off infection from side effects. It can also give you a feeling of well-being. Work with a dietitian to explore methods to get the nutrients you need if you have a tough time eating.
Many people feel fatigued till several weeks after the treatment. Most often, this is mild. But some people feel more tired and may need to change their daily routines. Your doctor will let you know if they think you should limit your activities.