• External beam radiation

    Asked by JamnJ on Monday, August 29, 2016

    External beam radiation

    How bad are the side effects? Guess I'm getting 28 sessions starting soon.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      It depends where the beam is going to. Look up radiation and the prostate and side effects. I had it in my sciatic area and I got exhausted and a little burn on my back.....I might need it in my neck on a huge lymph node BUT don't think I'll do it as the Side effects...( Burned inside of the mouth and a swallowing problem.....Also teeth problems.....Just a bunch of crap...

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I had radiation to the chest/throat/neck area 28 years ago for the first time. My side effects were little to none. I did have some fatigue, and a little darkening of the skin. I did lose the hair on the back of my head where the field of radiation was going. But no burning, nausea, or anything else.

      About 19 years later, in 2009 I had radiation to the same areas again, this time the side effects were worse. Burning, lost my voice, severe sore throat, couldn't swallow without pain, lost all my teeth two years later, lost 45# due to not eating, lost saliva glands. And about 5 years after, I had a TIA, (mini-stroke) from the interior carotid artery being occluded. It basically was fried and shrank.

      Radiation side effects have a great deal to do with where on the body they are directed, so I will defer to those who have had prostate cancer and radiation for that, in that area. Still, my experience was that radiation wasn't as bad as chemo, as far as side effects.

      We wish you the best!

      over 3 years ago
    • tom324's Avatar
      tom324

      Within the last year I had over 40 radiation session for prostate cancer. My PSA went up after I had prostate surgery two years ago. I asked for morning session to get it done for the day. For me, that was helpful. The best advice I received was to drink 16 oz of water before going into each session. It helps move the bladder out of the way to reduce the chances of harm to the bladder. It worked for me, no bladder damage. There was fatigue and initial bowel problems that gradually went away after the 6th session. I did have an issue with the first team that fitted me for the radiation treatment. I felt like I was in a car wash rather than in a treatment center. I did call the Dr. and had my team changed for the remaining 39 session and that, for me, was a great improvement. This issue might not be as important to others but I like to be comfortable with my treatment team. Once a week I met with the nurse or Dr. who ask me about side effects which I found helpful. I also had a phone number that I could call re: questions, side effects. I had a great support system -- my wife was primary - A beautiful, wonderful woman - my family and friends. You could ask about other supports that may be available from your treatment center. We had the option of massages -- Theater tickets provided by a volunteer group, etc. Sending all my love to you an your family. Tom

      over 3 years ago
    • Afterglow's Avatar
      Afterglow

      I completed 45 high dose external radiation treatment almost six years ago. I agree with the comment about having a full bladder as this helps stabilize everything making targeting more accurate. Regarding side effects, I had issues with bladder and bowel frequency and urgency they started after about 12-15 treatments and continued to get worse through the duration of treatments. The good news is that they subsided within a couple of months after completion of treatment. However, they've not gone away completely, though they are now more of a nuisance than anything. The other issue I had was rectal bleeding. This is an infrequent side effect and may have been a result of the very aggressive treatment. This issue, while disconcerting, can be treated by a gastroenterologist with little or no long term side effects. Good luck, we wish you well.

      over 3 years ago
    • davewfence's Avatar
      davewfence

      I had 35 treatments for prostate cancer and I am being completely honest with you -- I had no problems/issues whatsoever. My doctor, Philip Shrake, who is with Radiotherapy Clinics said I could expect to be tired. I install fence for a living, so I guess he thought the radiation would impact my work, but it didn't. In fact, I told Dr. Shrake numerous times, "I'm not sure if your machine is on." Good luck and keep us informed. Dave W. Holland

      over 3 years ago

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