Side Effects of Radiation Treatment for Lung Cancer

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Radiation treatment for lung cancer is performed to patients in order to handle the growth of cancer cells as well as reduce the effects of lung cancer itself. Radiation treatment by using a high radiation level is purposed to destroy cancer cells and reduce the size of tumor. Almost half of the patients with cancer are suggested to undergo radiation treatment as the medication. Patients with a further stage of cancer are also suggested to do radiation treatment as well. Not to heal the disease but to reduce the symptoms. However, there are side effects of radiation treatment.

Short-Term Side Effects

The short-term side effects which often appear when a lung cancer patient undergoes radiation treatment are vomiting, nausea, hair fall, blackened skin on the part of the body affected by radiation, fatigue, menstrual disorders in women, disorders of sperm count and quality in men, and various skin problems. Moreover, a patient with lung cancer who undergoes radiation treatment will also experience decreased appetite and problems in their digestive systems. But patients should still keep their nutrient intakes well by avoiding consuming sour or spicy foods and have a meal in a small portion but more often. Such as 6 times per day.

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Long-Term Side Effects

Radiation treatment for lung cancer can also cause long-term side effects. The long-term side effects will appear after the patients undergo radiation treatment for several months or several years. Radiation treatment does not only damage the DNA of cancer cells but also normal cells. When healthy and normal cells are damaged, then various long-term side effects will appear. For example, impaired lung functions because of radiation treatment performed on the chest, narrowing of the respiratory tract and throat so that the patient will hardly breathe, and many more. If cancer cells already spread to other organs such as colons, then the bladder is no longer elastic so that the patient will pee more often because of the radiation treatment performed in the stomach.

The side effects that appear because of radiation treatment will be different, depends on the body’s condition of patients. Some patients will experience mild, medium, or severe side effects. Moreover, the side effects appear will also depend on the parts of the body which are affected by radiation treatment, dosage of radiation given, and also various other treatments which are probably performed by patients besides radiation treatment. Those are the side effects of radiation treatment for lung cancer.

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