Radiation - abdomen - discharge; Cancer - abdominal radiation; Lymphoma - abdominal radiation
When you have radiation treatment for cancer, your body goes through changes. Follow your health care provider's instructions on how to care for yourself at home. Use the information below as a reminder.
About 2 weeks after radiation treatment starts, you might notice changes in your skin. Most of these symptoms go away after your treatments have stopped.
Your body hair will fall out after about 2 weeks, but only in the area being treated. When your hair grows back, it may be different than before.
Around the second or third week after radiation treatments start, you may have:
When you have radiation treatment, color markings are drawn on your skin. DO NOT remove them. These show where to aim the radiation. If they come off, DO NOT redraw them. Tell your provider instead.
To take care of the treatment area:
Tell your provider if you have any break or opening in your skin.
Wear loose-fitting clothing around your stomach and pelvis.
You will likely feel tired after a few weeks. If so:
Ask your provider before taking any drugs or other remedies for an upset stomach.
Don't eat for 4 hours before your treatment. If your stomach feels upset just before your treatment:
If your stomach is upset right after radiation treatment:
For an upset stomach:
To help with diarrhea:
Eat enough protein and calories to keep your weight up.
Your provider may check your blood counts regularly, especially if the radiation treatment area is large.
Doroshow JH. Approach to the patient with cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 169.
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 March 6, 2020.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 2/6/2020
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, 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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