While there are typically few side effects to external beam radiation treatment, you may experience a headache, dizziness and fatigue immediately following treatment. Driving is not recommended so make sure to arrange transportation home.
When you begin your first treatment, you may feel well enough to continue your daily routine immediately. If your tumor needs only a single radiation therapy session, called radiosurgery, you may find that your recovery is quick and you feel strong enough to maintain your daily routine even as the radiation works to shrink your tumor over the days and weeks after treatment.
If your spine tumor requires more than one radiation therapy session, or a course of treatment, you may feel tired, weaker or have less energy as time goes on. Every patient’s journey with cancer and treatment is different and you should discuss what to expect with your doctor based on your treatment plan.
Plan ahead to get extra rest, eat nutritious meals, use any prescribed creams for your skin, avoid too much sun exposure and seek emotional support.
You may be able to go back to work on a full- or part-time basis after your radiation therapy or during your therapy if you have more than one session. Your ability to work will depend upon how you feel and may change throughout the treatment journey. You may want to discuss your options with your employer prior to your treatment to make sure you have a plan in place before you begin treatment.