Complications from Radiation Therapy Treatments

Your doctor will discuss potential side effects with you depending on your overall treatment plan. Typically there is no scarring and no disfigurement and little risk of infection compared to conventional surgery. The complications discussed in this section typically apply to conventional radiotherapy but may be experienced in a mild way by patients undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery.

Once your body has gone through cancer and radiation therapy to treat that cancer, you will probably be very aware of everything that you are feeling, both relief from symptoms caused by your brain tumor but also potential side effects from the radiation therapy. While radiation therapy, when prescribed and administered with patient safety in mind, offers great benefits, you will want to alert your doctor or nurse of you have any of the following side effects or new symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Skin changes, rashes, bruises, bleeding
  • Swelling / edema
  • Nausea
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Weight loss
  • New lumps, bumps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever, cough, hoarseness that doesn’t go away

Your care team is there to listen to you and hear any concerns that you have so don’t be worried or ashamed or shy about sharing any symptoms that worry you after you have treatment. You can make a list of questions and problems that you want to share with your doctor or nurse to bring to your follow-up visits.

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