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Radiotherapy side effects for those close by

Radiation therapy is a treatment approach that involves delivering very strong radiation to delimit tumors and kill, or slow down, cancer cells. Radiation used for cancer therapy are x-rays and gamma rays. Radiation therapy also has side effects for those close by

But how are they administered? Either through a machine that covers the patient’s body, which is called external radiotherapy, or through a radioactive substance that is administered into the patient’s body, and this is internal radiotherapy.


Radiotherapy: treatments

Radiation therapy treatment is chosen according to the patient’s needs, thus depending on the type of tumor, its size, location in the body, and the patient’s own condition. That is why there is no one radiotherapy that is better than another. An attempt is always made to apply the best available technique for each individual case.

Usually amedical team is formed to implement the entire radiation therapy treatment plan: the radiation oncology physician, medical physicist, radiation therapy technician, and professional nurse.

The side effects of radiation therapy for those close by, however, can be very intrusive since they are still radioactive substances circulating in the patient’s body that go on to kill cancer cells.


Radiotherapy: the side effects for the patient

Radiation therapy is a difficult path to go through, especially because you find yourself at a stage where you don’t know what will happen so you are very scared, it becomes stressful to go through it. During radiation therapy, one may feel: anxious, depressed, afraid, angry, frustrated, helpless, and even lonely. These are the most common side effects.


Radiotherapy side effects for those close to you

In the event that the patient acquires some radioactivity, physicians will be responsible for instructing family members and caregivers on how to avoid all forms of exposure.

Why does this happen? Because of some body fluids that, in case of reactivity could become radioactive. The first basic things to be done are:

  • Maintaining social distancing;
  • Avoid associating with children, pregnant women and frail people;
  • Avoid physical contact, at least for a week;
  • Wash clothing and everything the patient wears separately from the rest of the things;
  • Wash hands frequently and sanitize them immediately afterwards;
  • Avoid leakage of urine droplets when going to the toilet, so it is always better to sit down. If possible, it is preferable to use two bathrooms;
  • when you go to the bathroom, it is advisable to flush twice and wash your hands thoroughly.