FAQs: Treatment

At the time of your initial consultation visit with your Radiation Oncologist, you will have an opportunity to discuss which cancer treatments—radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery—are appropriate for your specific cancer. Sometimes more than one type of cancer therapy may be appropriate for you, and often your care plan will need to be coordinated with other cancer care physicians. If radiation therapy is recommended by your Radiation Oncologist, you will also discuss which type of radiation treatment course, technique, and equipment is indicated for your particular condition.

Questions to ask your doctor or nurse, click here.

Learn more about the radiation treatment process here.

Learn more about common side effects here.

Overall, it is important to ensure adequate nutritional intake during your course of radiation therapy. Generally, no specific dietary restrictions are implemented by your Radiation Oncologist during your radiation treatments. However, for some cancer types, your doctor may ask you to make some dietary changes (e.g., avoiding certain foods) while receiving your radiation treatments.

You are not radioactive as a result of the radiation treatments if you are receiving external beam radiation therapy. However, if you are receiving the type of brachytherapy in which radioactive seeds are implanted into your body, special precautions may need to be taken due to issues of potential radiation exposure to friends and family.

For the most part, you can continue with your normal activities during radiation therapy. However, sometimes modifications in activity are required, which your Radiation Oncologist will discuss with you as needed.

No, radiation therapy does not hurt while it is being given. You cannot feel radiation while it is being delivered. However, side effects that may develop due to radiation therapy can sometimes cause discomfort or pain. Your Radiation Oncologist will help manage such side effects if they do develop.

Many people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can only work part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on factors such as your cancer type, the nature of the cancer treatments that you receive, and how you feel during your treatment course. Ask your doctor what you may expect based on the treatments you are receiving.

Most medications do not interfere with radiation therapy. However, some medications may need to be held or modified during your radiation therapy. It is best to consult with your Radiation Oncologist regarding your medication regimen.

Cancer Guide