17 Ways to Prevent Radiation Therapy Side Effects
Nearly everything in this world are about cause and effects. Everything have their own consequences, risks, that we all have to deal with. For example, when you do something wrong you will get a punishment. The similar thing imply in radiation therapy. It might cure you, but in the same time it might give you side effects.
There’s no need to be scared about this, but we should learn to know how to prevent it and treat it well.
This article will give you not only how to prevent the side effects, but also types of radiation therapy you might get, also factors that affect the effects you get.
Type of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy which is known as radiotherapy is a therapy which commonly used to kill cancer cells. Using high energy of radiation, it could shrink and kill cancer cells.
Radiotherapy can be delivered in 2 ways :
- External therapy – External therapy is a therapy which transferred radiation through a machine.
- Internal therapy – Internal therapy also called as brachytherapy is a radiation implants which is put inside our body and placed it near the tumors or cancer cells. Internal radiation allows higher dose of radiation in smaller area which is formed in pellets, pills, tube or such to put inside our body. This therapy is less harm to other cells besides cancer cells.
Side Effects Factors
Radiotherapy has side effects which because there are some normal cells which are divided or killed during treatment or months and years after treatment. The sides effects depends on :
- Dose given each day
- Total dose given
- Patients medical condition, etc.
Ways to Prevent Side Effects
Although radiation therapy could help lots of people, however its still radioactive, and radioactive never good for our body. So here are some ways to prevents radiation therapy side effects :
1. Fractionation – Fractionation is a method to reduce the side effect of radiotherapy. It helps to kill cancer cells by giving a huge amount of total dose. Commonly, doses given one at a time, but fractionation will give a little by little doses but frequently.
2. Hyperfractionation – Hyperfractionation is almost the same as fractionation, but the difference is the interval in giving radiation. Hyperfractionation threats people by giving radiation once every 6 to 8 hours, so its more often than fractionation
3. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a technology could reduce the side effect of radiation by controlled the intensity of the radiation.
4. Three Dimensional Conformal Radiation – Three dimensional conformal radiation is a technology to see the tumors size and shape in 3D. By that radiation could delivered without giving damage to normal cells.
5. Drug Therapy – Drugs are harmful for human, it can caused from addiction to death. But on the other side drugs also could be a life saver. Nowadays drugs has been in high demand in US, due to its benefits as an antidote for radiation exposures.
6. Ethyol – Ethyol works well on radiation side effects especially xerostomia. Xerostomia is a condition where salivary glands was damaged by radiation exposure. It can cause speech difficulties, swallow difficulties, chew difficulties and other disability.
7. Rest – Radiation therapy may makes you feel more tired than how you usually be. It will probably last for few weeks after the treatment ends. Try to have a good quality of sleep at night. Sleeping for about 6-8 hours at night will help your body to regenerate and restore energy for the next day. If you find it hard to sleep, perhaps during alcohol withdrawal, you might need to know How to get sleep during alcohol withdrawal
8. Skin care – For the external radiation therapy case, it might affect your skin afterwards. The skin may likely be more sensitive and looked like sunburned. Be selective with the skin products that you’re using, like lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, even soaps. You may try to consult to your doctor before using them to the treated area since they might irritate your skin.
Read also : How to Prevent Skin Cancer From Tanning
9. Limit your Alcohol – If possible, of course staying away from alcoholic drink will be the best for you after treatment. But if you had to drink it, or had chosen to, try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink per day. Why should we do that? That’s mainly due to the fact that alcohol is known as a cancer-causing agent.
10. Stay away from hot and cold pad – It might sounds great, putting heat or cold to your skin. But if you do that after radiation therapy, it might be a damage for your skin. Avoid hot water as well, since it can also hurt your skin. If you have to use heat or cold pad due to some reasons, you should consult this to your cancer care team beforehand.
11. Healthy diet – By eating the right, healthy foods, you’ll be able to feel stronger after a radiation therapy. Eat at least 2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day,such as citrus fruits and greens. Increase your fiber intake by consuming whole-grain breads or cereals. If possible, try consult to your cancer care team about what foods you should or should not eat.
You might also read : Benefits of Fasting for Cancer Patients
- Wear loose, soft clothes : This might seems odd, but this really helps to treat the side effects of radiation therapy, especially, for the skin. Wearing tight, rough-textured clothes will harm your sensitive skin.
- Limit red meat intake : For the red meat, you should consume no more than 3 or 4 servings a week. Salt-cured foods such as bacon or sausage should also be avoided.
- Eat broiled or baked foods : Food processed by broiling or baking might doesn’t taste as good as the fried one. But they are more unhealthy for your body.
- Wear hat or scarf : we might already know that radiation therapy can lead to hair loss or change in hair texture. If you have to go outside and exposed to the sunlight, you should protect your scalp by wearing hats or scarf.
- Don’t shave without permission : If you need to shave, especially around the treated area, you should consult with your cancer care team first. It is due to your sensitive skin after therapy.
- Radiation protectors : Radiation protect-ant is a drug which could protect normal cells from radiation exposure.
It might seem hard to cope with radiation therapy’s side effects. There are a lot of prohibition that we have to keep in mind. But better ask and consult to your cancer care team even before the therapy has began. Try your best to follow what they suggest so that you could get the benefits of your therapy.
You might also try to use home remedies that are already proven, such as How to Treat Cancer with Aloe Vera #1 Home remedy or How to Treat Cancer with Turmeric #ProvenHomeRemedy
However, hard work, patience, and faith will never betray the result. Let yourself do the best in the process.