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Radiation Therapy FAQ

Will I be able to work during radiation treatment?

Your ability to work while receiving radiation treatment will be dependent upon the area being treated. Your doctor can explain any restrictions you will have during treatment.

Will I be able to drive or should someone come with me to my radiation treatments?

You may continue to drive to and from treatment, unless you are taking certain medications. Talk to your doctor about how your medications will affect you.

Will I be able to choose my treatment time?

We will make every effort to offer you a time slot that fits your schedule.

Can I drink alcoholic beverages while under treatment?

Social drinking (one to two drinks) may be allowed for some patients, but you should discuss this with your doctor.

How many radiation treatments do I have to have?

The number of radiation treatments you need will depend upon the location of the cancer. After your consultation with the radiation oncologist, he/she will prescribe the appropriate dose and number of treatments.

What kind of side effects can I expect and how can I cope with them?

The two most common side effects of radiation treatment are fatigue and changes in the color of the skin in the radiated area. Your skin may become dry, pink, or itchy. You may also lose your hair if you are receiving radiation to that area. In addition, you may also experience nausea if you are receiving radiation to your esophagus or stomach. Your doctor can prescribe medication to control these side effects.

You will also be seen by the nurse and doctor on a weekly basis, and in between, if needed. During these visits, they will discuss any side effects you are having, as well as any issues or concerns you have. In addition, we will give you a DVD and a book, Radiation Therapy and You. Both are user-friendly, and excellent sources of information to guide you through your radiation treatment.

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