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Radiotherapy: short-term side effects

The short-term effects of radiation therapy occur because of the radiation affecting healthy cells that are in the vicinity of tumor masses. Depending on the area treated, side effects may vary, however, in general among the short-term effects of radiotherapy the most common are:

  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle and joint pain;
  • Hair loss;
  • Nausea, vomiting, and skin problems.


One of the short-term effects of radiation therapy is fatigue. Fatigue is among the most common complaints; in fact, there are many patients undergoing radiation therapy who complain of being tired, exhausted, and feeling somewhat worn out. It is a constant sensation that either appears suddenly or gradually as radio sessions increase. It is not a predictable effect, age does not affect it, and neither does the area treated.

Muscle and joint pain

Other short-term effects of radiotherapy are muscle and joint pain, occurring frequently and depending on the severity, may manifest as a feeling of fatigue to the point of almost being unable to perform simple daily activities, affecting a patient’s quality of life.

Hair loss

Short-term effects of radiotherapy include hair loss. Hair loss can occur partially or completely following radiotherapy. This phenomenon is called alopecia. The reason why leakage occurs is closely related to the frequency and intensity of treatment, as well as the location. Usually starting to fall off two or three weeks after the first radiation therapy session, and within a week or so all are lost. Depending on the case then, they grow back within three to six months after the end of therapy. It is advisable to use from the beginning and up to 30 days after the end of oncology therapies the gentle shower shampoo from the Oncos line.

Nausea, vomiting and skin problems

Another short-term effect of radiation therapy that may occur is nausea and/or vomiting. Nausea is predominantly just a sensation where you feel your stomach unwell, as if you are about to get well. While vomiting may also manifest as dry heaves. This is because the stomach is empty and you still have the urge to vomit. In addition, radiation therapy can cause skin changes in the treated area such as: redness, itching, dry skin, ulcers and blisters. In this case, it is advisable to use Oncos Protective Dry Oil, which has asoothing and calming action.