Prostate cancer treatment nashville tn

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment program that uses high-energy radiation waves or particles to suppress, shrink or destroy cancer cells. The most common type of radiation particles used in radiation therapy are gamma rays, charged particles, and X-rays. It is one of the most advanced cancer treatment options in modern science.

While radiation therapy can be administered as a stand-alone treatment, it can also be used along with other treatment options like immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Generally, there are two ways radiation therapy is delivered to a patient’s body which is external-beam radiation and internal radiation therapy. Radiation treatment for cancer is known as ionizing radiation since it produces electrically charged ions in the cells. Unlike this form type of radiation which is known to produce extremely high energy, other forms or radiation such as light waves and microwaves produce substantially less energy because they don’t create ions.

When planning a radiation treatment, a radiation oncologist evaluates your cancer and select the most appropriate form of radiation based on the type and location of the cancerous cells. However, it is important that you understand the treatment plan your doctor is going to administer as well as its side effects. Depending on the type radiation treatment for cancer you are having, side effects can either be acute or chronic. In addition, the location of the cancerous cells in the body will also determine the level of side effects.

Which are these common side effects that result from cancer treatment therapy?

As earlier mentioned, radiation therapy can cause both acute and chronic side effects, and while the acute side effects seem less serious than the chronic ones, they still affect patient’s quality of life negatively.

This is perhaps one of the most common acute side effects of radiation therapy. Fatigue is a state of feeling tired in different parts of the body such as mental, physical and emotional. Patients undergoing radiation treatment for cancer often experience this type of side effect. However, fatigue is not only caused by radiation treatment, but also cancer itself. In most cases, cancer patients will experience a massive drop in energy levels that sometimes hinder them from participating in basic life routines. Therefore, it is important that fatigue is managed properly to give a patient a fighting chance throughout the treatment period.

Normally, fatigue is associated with other minor side effects such as headaches and nausea. This is common when radiation is administered in the abdomen region.

Skin Conditions
During radiation therapy, the skin is more prone to the radiation waves. The treatment part of the body may appear irritated, red, swollen, tanned, sunburned or blistered. After a period of continuous exposure to radiation, your skin may start to peel with an itchy feeling present. The skin becomes dry and flaky, a condition called radiation dermatitis. In case you experience this changes to your skin, it’s advisable you inform your cancer care team. Without further skin treatment care, the treated skin might become too sensitive than before. However, the changes on your skin usually fade away after treatment ends.

Hair Loss
Radiation treatment for cancer can result in hair loss, a type of hair loss called alopecia. But hair loss often occurs in the area being radiated. For instance, head and neck cancer treatment may cause significant hair loss that can even affect eyebrows and lashes. Although it’s hard to bear the sight loosing hair, most people grow their hair back after treatment ends. As much as the hair will grow back, some people find that the hair texture and color seem different than it was before the treatment.

Finally, according to cancer studies, radiation therapy rarely cause low blood count on either platelets or white blood cells, but it’s evident that this radiation waves administered in the body tissues may damage if the unaffected cells. Since this treatment pose threat to other healthy organs in the body, it may lead to eating disorders in some people, especially if the digestive system is affected. For more information, visit your local cancer treatment center and get informed on everything about cancer.