Your team plans your treatment carefully to reduce your risk of side effects. However, most people have a few side effects during or after radiotherapy.
Side effects do not usually happen straight away. They may develop during treatment or in the days or weeks after treatment finishes. Sometimes side effects get worse for a time after you have finished radiotherapy before they get better. There may also be a small risk of side effects that are long-term or that only start months or years after radiotherapy.
It is difficult to predict exactly how you will react to treatment. Your team will explain what to expect. Always tell them if you have side effects during or after radiotherapy. They can give advice and support to help you cope.
These are some of the general side effects of radiotherapy. You are unlikely to get all of them. You may also get other side effects that we do not mention here. This can depend on:
- the area of your body being treated
- the type of radiotherapy you have
- other treatments you are also having, such as chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy only affects the area of the body being treated. So, you may find it helpful to read our information about the type of cancer you have. This has more detail about your treatment and the other possible side effects.
We also have more information about side effects that may affect your sex life or fertility.