Most people have side effects during radiotherapy and for a few weeks afterwards. Usually these gradually improve over a few weeks or months after treatment has finished
Late effects are:
- side effects that begin during or shortly after treatment and don’t go away within six months (sometimes called long-term effects) – occasionally these effects become permanent
- side effects that don’t affect you during treatment but begin months or even years later, as a delayed response to treatment.
Some late effects improve over time and may eventually go away on their own.
In this information we use the term late effects to include both long-term and late effects.
- bone changes
- effects on your sex life
- effects on fertility
- slight increased risk of second cancer.
Women may also experience early menopause and changes to the vagina.
The impact of late effects varies:
- They may be minor, not affecting your day-to-day life much.
- They can be more troublesome or difficult to live with, and can restrict or interfere with your day-to-day life.
If you do have late effects, there are usually lots of things that can help you cope with them, so that you can live life as fully as possible.