Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Tasmanian Health Service - Northern Region

Side-effects are dependant on the area of the body being treated. It is also important to remember that everyone is different. Patients having similar treatment may experience different reactions. Common side-effects to any treatment site can include tiredness and skin irritation.

The body works hard to help repair itself. This uses a lot of energy and can cause tiredness. Some patients will feel exhaustion from the beginning and others may not experience it at all. It is important for patients to look after themselves throughout the treatment course. For some this may mean getting plenty of rest, eating healthily and cutting back on work if needed.

Skin may become red, sore or itchy during treatment. This will only happen in the area being treated and is likened to 'sunburn'. Again, some patients will experience this side-effect and others will not, with varying degrees between. Our nursing staff will provide any creams to use during treatment and closely monitor any side-effects the patient may experience.

At the first visit for treatment, the nursing staff will inform the patient of all relevant side-effects and provide a range of solutions and advice to make the treatment experience more comfortable.

During treatment the clinic nursing staff are happy to respond to any questions or concerns about side-effects.