Radiation Therapy is a treatment process that uses high-energy rays to stop cancer cells from growing and dividing. It is often used to destroy remaining cancer cells after surgery. Radiation therapy is also sometimes given before surgery to shrink the size of the tumor.
Temporary fatigue or extreme tiredness is the most common side effect of radiotherapy. Other temporary side effects are:
- Loss of appetite
- a sharp decrease in the number of white blood cells
- swelling or tenderness in the area treated
- feeling of heaviness in the area
- sun-burn-like appearance in the area
These signs usually gradually disappear after completion of the radiotherapy. Generally, pregnant women are not given radiotherapy in order to avoid damage to the fetus.
More information on cancer treatment is provided in our Section on Cancer.