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  • FIND A RADIATION ONCOLOGIST

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Side Effects

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  • The side effects you might feel will depend on the area being treated, the dose of radiation given and whether you also receive other treatments, such as chemotherapy. Before treatment begins, ask your doctor about specific side effects and how you can best manage them. Side effects may include:

    • Bladder irritation with increased need to urinate.
    • Bowel irritation with abdominal cramping, rectal pressure and diarrhea are possible.
    • Fatigue where you feel tired much of the time.
    • You may experience a mild skin irritation, like a sunburn.
    • The radiation will not cause you to lose the hair on your head, but you may lose your pubic hair near where the radiation was aimed. Some people find the hair grows back in a different color or texture than before.
    • Some patients may also see sexual side effects. Women may experience vaginal dryness. Some men may experience difficulty achieving an erection. These are temporary, but tell your doctor or nurse. They may be able to recommend products or medications to help.

    Sometimes symptoms don’t appear until treatments are finished. Some people have hardly any symptoms at all. You are unique as will be your reaction to cancer treatments. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any discomfort or side effects you have, however embarrassing. He or she may be able to provide drugs or other treatments to help.

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