Radiation therapy can also cause hair loss on the part of the body that is being treated. Hair loss is called alopecia. Talk with your health care team to learn if the cancer treatment you will be receiving causes hair loss. Your doctor or nurse will share strategies that have help others, including those listed below.
What are the most common side effects of radiation therapy?
The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area. Late side effects can take months or even years to develop.
How do you prevent hair loss from radiation?
If you are having radiation therapy to your head or scalp area, think about cutting your hair short before treatment starts. This will make any hair loss easier to manage. Wear a wig or toupee, or leave your head bare. Do whatever feels comfortable and gives you the most confidence.
Does your hair grow back after radiotherapy?
Hair re-growth after radiotherapy depends on the type and number of treatments you had, and the area of the body that was affected. If your hair grows back, it usually starts 3–6 months after treatment. It may be patchy, thinner or a different colour. Sometimes hair loss can be permanent.
Is radiotherapy worse than chemo?
Since radiation therapy is focused on one area of your body, you may experience fewer side effects than with chemotherapy. However, it may still affect healthy cells in your body.
What are the disadvantages of radiation therapy?
The disadvantages of radiation therapy include:
- damage to surrounding tissues (e.g. lung, heart), depending on how close the area of interest is located to the tumor.
- inability to kill tumor cells that cannot be seen on imaging scans and are therefore not always included on the 3D models (e.g. in near-by lymph nodes.
How long does radiotherapy stay in your system?
External radiotherapy does not make you radioactive, as the radiation passes through your body. The radiation from implants or injections can stay in your body for a few days, so you may need to stay in hospital and avoid close contact with other people for a few days as a precaution.
How long does hair take to grow back after radiotherapy?
Usually, your hair will start to grow back 3 to 6 months after finishing your treatment. But it may take longer if the treatment dose has been high. The hair that grows back may be thinner, patchy or a different colour. Sometimes the hair loss is permanent.
How long after radiation can you color your hair?
Coloring Hair After Cancer
This is so you can be sure that the hair is of good quality. Also, NEVER color your hair during or after cancer treatment without explicit permission from your doctor. The general rule is to wait at least six months before using hair dye on your hair, after you’ve finished treatment.
Does pubic hair grow back after radiation?
You may lose some or all of the hair on your pubic area. The hair will usually grow back 2 to 4 months after treatment is finished.
What can you not do during radiation treatment?
What Foods Should I Avoid During Radiation? Foods to avoid or reduce during radiation therapy include sodium (salt), added sugars, solid (saturated) fats, and an excess of alcohol. Some salt is needed in all diets. Your doctor or dietitian can recommend how much salt you should consume based on your medical history.
How many sessions of radiotherapy is normal?
Most people have 5 treatments each week (1 treatment a day from Monday to Friday, with a break at the weekend). But sometimes treatment may be given more than once a day or over the weekend.
How do you know if radiation therapy is working?
There are a number of ways your care team can determine if radiation is working for you. These can include: Imaging Tests: Many patients will have radiology studies (CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans) during or after treatment to see if/how the tumor has responded (gotten smaller, stayed the same, or grown).