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Side Effects

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  • Side effects of radiation therapy are limited to the area being treated. Side effects are not the same for all patients. Talk with your doctor and treatment team about any new symptoms or side effects you may experience during treatment.
    • Radiation therapy to the abdomen may cause an upset stomach, more frequent bowel movements, occasionally with diarrhea or abdominal cramping, or a sensation of bloating.
    • Patients receiving treatment to the esophagus may experience difficulty or pain with swallowing.
    • Patients may experience fatigue and a decreased appetite.
    • Skin irritation may occur, including redness, tanning or dryness. Talk with your doctor or nurse about taking care of your skin during treatment.
    • It is likely you will receive chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy. The side effects from the chemotherapy will depend on the drugs being prescribed and how often you are to receive them. Ask your medical oncologist about chemotherapy side effects you may experience.
    • Treatment side effects can often be controlled with medications or changes in your diet. Tell your doctor or nurse if you experience any of them, so they can assist you with the symptoms you are experiencing.
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