Radiotherapy affects people in different ways, so it’s difficult to predict exactly how you’ll react to your treatment. The side effects you have will depend on the type of treatment and the area of the body being treated.
Before you consent to your treatment, the hospital staff will talk to you about any side effects you may get. They will also give you tips on how to deal with them and how they can be treated.
External radiotherapy usually causes more general side effects than internal therapy. Here we discuss the general side effects of radiotherapy that you may experience, whichever part of the body you’re having radiotherapy to.
Before you start radiotherapy, you may also find it helpful to read more information about your type of cancer. It will include more information about the possible side effects of radiotherapy.
Modern treatments have reduced the frequency and severity of side effects. It’s important to remember that most people will have only a few of the side effects mentioned here.
Most side effects of radiotherapy will continue for about 10–15 days after treatment has finished and then gradually begin to get better. However, general tiredness may continue for longer.