Radiation Oncology

Common Treatment Side Effects

Varying degrees of physical and emotional side effects are normal for patients undergoing radiation treatment, depending on what type of treatment you are receiving, your illness, and whether or not you are also receiving chemotherapy. Some people have few, if any, side effects; others have many.

Your doctor and nurse will talk with you about possible side effects you may experience, and then monitor you closely during your treatment. Talk with them if you notice any discomfort so your radiation oncology team can best help you manage them.

Side effects may vary widely, depending on the part of your body treated. Common side effects may include fatigue and skin changes such as dryness, itching, peeling or blistering. Your nurse will show you special ways to care for your skin during your treatment.

Common side effects of radiation therapy can often be managed effectively through optimal nutrition before and during treatment. Our experienced registered oncology dietician has training in oncology and integrative nutrition, as well as 24 years of experience working primarily with cancer patients. She will work with you and your family to tailor an eating plan that meets your individual needs and helps you effectively manage changes in appetite and weight.

The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment offers many other support services to assist our patients and their families who are undergoing radiation therapy treatment, such as our social worker and participating in a St. Joseph Hospital support group.