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Caring for Yourself

It is important to care for yourself during radiation therapy. Parts of your body that are near the tumor are also receiving some radiation, although not as much as the cancer. These normal parts of your body need time and support to heal. A balanced diet, adequate hydration, a mild amount of physical activity and taking time to rest are all important parts of your cancer treatment.

  • Follow your doctor’s orders. If you are unsure of anything, ask your nurse or doctor.
  • Be sure to tell your radiation oncologist about any medications, vitamins or supplements that you are currently taking to make sure they are safe to take during radiation therapy.
  • During, and even after radiation therapy is over, you will need to take special care of your skin. Stay out of the sun, avoid hot or cold packs, and do not use lotions or ointments without checking with your doctor or nurse first. Clean the skin over the areas receiving radiation therapy with warm water and mild soap.

Completing treatment and recovery can be challenging. Seek out help from support groups and friends ahead of time. Having a support network in place before and during treatment will make it easier for you to get through side effects. If you need additional support, let your doctor and nurse know.