Treatment from external radiation had given me a gastrointestinal reaction. This has caused the bowel to irritate which lead to frequent loose stools. I noticed that every time I take in solid foods, it had always caused a diarrhea. In addition to that, I experienced poor appetite, nausea, chills, fatigue, dizziness, and skin irritation. Different people respond to this treatment differently, the latter were the side effects that I had experienced. And because of that, I had lost weight for a total of 10 pounds while on this treatment.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects : Diarrhea, Fatigue, Hair Loss, Mouth Changes, Nausea and Vomiting, Sexual and Fertility Changes, Skin Changes, Throat Changes, Urinary and Bladder Changes.
To deal with the radiation side effects issues that I had, I modified my diet and kept track on how my body responded to it. On the days that I am having these symptoms, I preferred to have protein smoothies. I had found this organic plant based protein powder from Costco which is so easy to prepare. On other times, I’d like to make a berry smoothie by just combining these : strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, and almond milk.
Constant exposure to radiation may cause the skin to become hyperpigmented, may burn, and may cause blisters. My radiation oncology nurse gave me a moisturizer to prevent these undesirable skin reactions from happening. It is radiation-approved and proven effective (Radiaplex). I applied this moisturizer in the afternoon or at night before and after the radiation treatment. Although hyperpigmentation is an expected skin changes during radiation treatment, the moisturizer would be an effective preventive measure to keep the skin off from developing a blister and burn.
Aside from skin reactions, hair loss is also a side effect of the radiation. The only areas of hair loss that I had was from the pelvis, and down to my legs. I had thinning hair on my head and eyelashes, but those were minimal.
- American Cancer Society – External Radiation Side Effects Worksheet https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/worksheets/radiation-therapy-side-effects-worksheet.pdf
- American Cancer Society – Managing Cancer-related Side Effects https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects.html
- National Cancer Institute – Radiation Therapy and You https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/radiation-therapy-and-you?redirect=true