Understanding Breast Cancer - Radiation Therapy - Breast Cancer India


Listen to your body. Be Aware.



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Many patients have few or no side effects during their treatment and are able to carry on their normal activities. Every patient is different and you may not have the same side effects as somebody else. Your doctor will discuss with you any side effects you may experience.

Acute Side-effects

These are seen immediately after or during radiotherapy. The skin in the treated area may become dry, red and itchy, a reaction similar to mild sunburn. Some patients have a more severe skin reaction when the skin may break down and become painful. If a patient has had chemotherapy, the severity of the skin reaction may be increased. In such a situation, the following things may help:


It is quite common to feel more tired than usual during the treatment and for several weeks after the treatment has finished. (Tiredness can be worse if one has had recent chemotherapy). It is important to rest when one feels the need to do so and ask family and friends to help when they can. If immediate help is not available, then one must do only the things that are necessary. Gradually, you will get back to normal activities.

Feeling sick (nausea)

Radiotherapy to your chest wall very rarely makes you feel sick. It can happen when the lower end of the treatment field has to include a small area of the upper abdomen (tummy) to ensure the chest wall is treated properly. If you do feel sick, please inform your doctor.

Late Side Effects

These are seen many years following radiotherapy