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Radiation Side Effects

Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

I am about to start radiation to finish dealing with tumor in my chest. I don't know how many treatments I'll have yet. I was wondering if anyone else was having radiation right now and could tell me about possiblbe side effects. I've heard it can cause fatigue. I've just gone back to work following my Chemo treatments and I'm wondering if I'll feel up to putting in a full day's work while I'm doing radiation.

Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2011

hey, im sorry to hear your about to do radiation. I had 14 treatments of radiation mon-friday then rest on the weekend. I was treated in my chest and neck area. Your skin might feel tougher almost like leather and might feel like you have a sun burn. I also had really bad heart burn. My neck was the worst, i could barely eat for about 2 weeks because it hurt so much to swallow. If your being treated only in the chest it shouldnt be too bad. But you will feel really tired i slept about 12 hours a day sometimes more. I guess it depends what kind of work you do, I was doing construction so i was way to tired to continue working through treatment.I hope that answers some of your questions feel free to get back to me if you want to talk more.

Take care,

Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the information, Ian. Fortunately I have a desk job. I'll definitely plan to get a good night's sleep based on what you've said! May be able to sneak in some naps during the day too... we'll see!

Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2010

My daughter is going to have radiation too. She finished chemo in March, and there is a very small spot left to the tumor she had in her chest. We are waiting to hear exactly how many she will be having. She, too just went back to work again. She cannot get the treatments here where we live so she will have to stop work for a while again. Do you know how many treatments you will be having? We were wondering about side effects too.

Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. What kind of cancer does she have? I am going to see a radiation oncologist tomorrow so I'll know more then...I'll let you know what I find out.

Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2010

My daughter has hodgkin's. At the half way point two thirds of the mass had shrunk,but there is still some activity there according to the PET scan.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2011

I was treated 37 years ago with Cobalt Radition and Chemo. I can never have any more radition. I was wondering if anyone is experience heart or lung problems due to the radition all these years later?

cathyp's picture
Posts: 373
Joined: Dec 2009

Yes, I have many late effects from radiation treatments for Hodgkins. Contact me and I'll give you a great site with tons of valuable information to stay on top of LT Effects and correspond with other Long Term Survivors going through the exact same things. Cathy

glistengal's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2011

Hi Cathy,
I also had Hodgkin's. I had my radiation treatment in '78 at UNC and have had many late effects. This last one after 33 years seems to be the one that has me perplexed. I have what seems to be lumbosacral plexopathy but I wasn't radiated in the lumbosacral region. I would love to have your input or info regarding where to go.
Thank you, Debbie

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011


I was treated at Stanford Hospital in 1978 with radiation head to my knees and have had many effects from that treatment. Currently being treated from Breast Cancer back at Stanford. I would love the information you have on this and other long term effects. Thank you so much

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Cathy: could you please send me the info you have. I would appreciate it. I had radiation in 1908 and have many side effects from radiation to the neck, chest, stomach and pelvic area. My oncologist said I had mega doses back then because it's the only way they knew to treat it, I was in stage 2 only, but they radiated lower half for precautionary measures. Thanks again. Take care. Appreciate it.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2010

I had radiation treatment about 20 years ago. Six months ago I visited a heart specialist to investigate a heart murmur my GP found during a routine exam. Was told by the specialist I have aortic valve stenosis, which he believed was caused by the radiation therapy. However, I have no symptoms and still jog every other day. Radiation therapy is a lot better today than in the past.

CiAnnaBananna's picture
Posts: 105
Joined: Mar 2010

I had hodgkins, Stage 3 B. For me, the radiation didnt really make me that tired, but i was still having energy issues from the chemo. The worst part of the radiation, was to the neck. It caused sever heartburn and acid reflux. I also could not swallow anything, including saliva for about 3 weeks. It felt like i was swallowing shards of glass. It was pretty terrible, but it eventually went away. Best of luck!

Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2010

How many treatments did you have of chemo & radation? My daughter is getting ready to start radiation after finishing ABVD. We haven't met with the doctor yet to see how many, hopefully it won't be too difficult. There was a large mass in her chest and the chemo took care of most of it. The PET scan picked up on what was left.

Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2010

I had 6 months of ABVD then radiation. I had 16 radiation treatments at one dosage (M-F, weekends off) then 4 at a "boost" or lower dose. The radiation went to my chest. I didn't have any ill effects from the radiation. My skin turned a little red after the actual treatment but it would go away. They gave me two different gels/lotions to use on that skin. I have heard of sore throat, cough and heart burn happening to some people. I didn't experience any real fatigue, but I know some people have. Like chemo, everyone reacts a little differently. : )

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