Christian Cable, Dr. Ryan Osborne & Dr. Noam Z. Drazin (Cancer Experts) gives expert video advice on: What is 'radiation therapy'?; What happens to my body when I get radiation treatment?; Is radiation therapy painful? and more...
What is 'radiation therapy'?
Radiation Therapy is a localize cancer therapy treatment. It is not a systemic Therapy. It is in Post Operable such as breast cancer and Post Pre-Operable Rectal Cancer. It is also use to diagnose Brain Cancer, Basic Mouth etc and pain pertaining to cancer. Radiation Therapy is best describe as a flashlight where the beam is in the treatment. If this beam is turn off then there will be no treatment. It is also used to alleviate pain where the some form of cancer treatment is not allow to do. Factual notes also say that it is common to combine Radiation Therapy with surgery, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
What happens to my body when I get radiation treatment?
You can liken it to what happens to a piece of bread when it went into a microwave for a minute. It is warm, soft and it seems like the best eating bread in the world. After awhile (2 minutes) it because hard dry and uneatable. In the late stages you will become hard, have fatigue, digestive problems.
Is radiation therapy painful?
There are times when radiation can be considered, fairly uncomfortable. It depends upon the location where the radiation is given. Some people receive radiation to parts of the body where there is no tissue that is quite as sensitive to the radiation. For instance, if you are getting radiation to the brain, it is far less uncomfortable than getting radiation to the mouth. Everyone's had a cold sore. One cold sore can make you not want to eat at all. Radiation treatments can induce, not necessarily cold sores, but sores in the mouth, and they can be on the orders of tens, twenties, to a hundred of them in the mouth at one time. Which can make it almost impossible to eat, excruciatingly painful, painful even swallowing your own saliva. So, that's a very drastic contrast between where you get your radiation, and what are the potential side effects and pain associated with those treatments.
How soon will I start to feel better after radiation therapy?
Most people will go through the first several weeks with, virtually, little to no significant side effects. Usually after about the third or fourth week of treatment the side effects will begin and side effects are in an early phase and a late phase. The early phase is usually the one that most people are more familiar with and that will resolve fairly quickly, meaning usually within 3-4 months after they complete treatment, those early side effects will completely resolve such as some of the ulcerations and the rawness and irritation and inflammation. Then there are some later side effects that come along with radiation and these will start to become more noticeable about 6-12 months after radiation and these may be associated with scarring and limitation of movement and different types of aches and pains, swellings that kind of pop up and go away without any real warning. Some of these may completely abate within a year's time. Some of them may be around for far longer and never completely go away and may be something that improves but has to be ultimately accepted as a long term side-effect of treatment.