You may develop side effects over the course of your treatment. These side effects will usually gradually disappear over a few weeks or months after treatment is finished.
Your doctor, nurse or radiographer will discuss this with you so that you know what to expect. Let them know about any side effects that you have during or after treatment. There are often things that can be done to help.
Hair will only fall out in the area being treated by radiotherapy, so the treatment for soft tissue sarcomas will not make the hair on your head fall out. The hair that is lost may grow back after the treatment has ended, but it is often lost permanently.
Some people develop a skin reaction similar to sunburn. Pale skin may become red and sore or itchy, and darker skin may develop a blue or black tinge. Your radiographers or nurses will give you advice on how to look after your skin.
This is a common side effect and may continue for months after treatment finishes. During treatment, you will need to rest more than usual, especially if you have to travel a long way for treatment each day. But it’s good to do gentle exercise, such as walking, when you feel able. Once your treatment is over, gradually increase your activity and try to balance rest periods with some physical activity. This will help you build up your energy levels.
Feeling sick (nausea)
Some people find that their treatment makes them feel sick (nausea) and, sometimes, they may actually be sick (vomit). This is most common when the treatment area is near the stomach or bowel. If you do have nausea and vomiting, they can usually be effectively treated with anti-sickness drugs (anti-emetics). Your doctor can prescribe these for you. If you do not feel like eating, you can replace meals with nutritious, high-calorie drinks, which are available from most chemists and can be prescribed by your GP.