Radiation - breast - discharge
You're having radiation treatment for breast cancer. With radiation, your body goes through some changes. Knowing what to expect will help you be prepared for these changes.
You may notice changes in the way your breast looks or feels (if you are getting radiation after a lumpectomy). These changes include:
Take care of the treatment area:
Tell your provider if you have any breaks, cracks, peeling, or opening in your skin. DO NOT put heating pads or ice bags directly on the treatment area. Wear loose-fitting breathable clothing.
Wear a loose-fitting bra with no underwire. Ask your provider about wearing your breast prosthesis, if you have one.
You need to eat enough protein and calories to keep your weight up while you are having radiation.
Tips to make eating easier:
Watch for these signs of swelling (edema) in your arm.
Ask your provider about physical exercises you can do to keep your arm moving freely.
Most people who get radiation treatment begin to feel tired after a few days. If you feel tired:
National Cancer Institute website. Radiation therapy and you: support for people with cancer. www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/radiationttherapy.pdf. Updated October 2016. Accessed November 12, 2018.
Zeman EM, Schreiber EC, Tepper JE. Basics of radiation therapy. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 27.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/14/2018
Reviewed By: David Herold, MD, Radiation Oncologist in Jupiter, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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