Skip to content
Home » What Are The Side Effects Of Radiation Treatment On The Brain

What Are The Side Effects Of Radiation Treatment On The Brain

Radiation to the brain can cause these short-term side effects:
  • Headaches.
  • Hair loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Hearing loss.
  • Skin and scalp changes.
  • Trouble with memory and speech.
Dec 10, 2020

How long do the side effects of brain radiation last?

Healthy cells that are damaged during radiation treatment usually recover within a few months after treatment is over. But sometimes people may have side effects that do not improve. Other side effects may show up months or years after radiation therapy is over.

How long does it take to recover from radiotherapy on the brain?

After treatment finishes, you may continue to feel tired for weeks or months. Radiotherapy to the brain can cause extreme tiredness 4 to 8 weeks after treatment. You may have very little energy, feel drowsy and spend a lot of time sleeping. It gradually gets better over a few weeks.

Can radiation to the brain cause confusion?

Many things can cause confusion in cancer patients, including: Cancer that has spread into the brain. Cancer in the fluid around the brain. Certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy drugs, radiation to the brain, surgery, or stem cell transplant.

How do you feel after radiation to the brain?

Radiotherapy to the brain can cause short term side effects such as tiredness and sickness. These side effects usually improve a few weeks after treatment. You may also have long term side effects which can continue for a lot longer and sometimes might be permanent.

What are the 2 most common side effects of radiation?

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.

When are radiation side effects the worst?

Often the side effects are worse at the end of treatment, or even a week or two afterwards, because it takes time for the healthy cells to recover from radiation. Most side effects are temporary and go away in time, usually within a few weeks of treatment finishing.

What are 5 effects of radiation?

Here are a few common health effects or harmful effects of radiation on the human body.

  • Hair. Loss of hair fall occurs when exposure to radiation is higher than 200 rems.
  • Heart and Brain. Intense exposure to radiation from 1000 to 5000 rems will affect the functioning of the heart. …
  • Thyroid. …
  • Blood System. …
  • Reproductive Tract.

Is radiation to the brain painful?

Radiation therapy can cause swelling of the brain that causes headaches. Headaches are a less common side effect than fatigue or irritability but can affect your quality of life. There are several medications that can help the pain from these headaches. Your doctor may also recommend steroids to address headaches.

What is the success rate of radiation therapy?

When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation. Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach.

What is the next step after radiation therapy?

Come in for your follow-up appointment

You will meet with your doctor 3 to 6 weeks after you complete your radiation treatment course. Your doctor will ask you how you are doing, assess your progress, and offer additional care and guidance.

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment?

Fatigue is the most common acute side effect of radiation therapy. It is believed to be caused by the large amount of energy that is used by the body to heal itself in response to radiation therapy. Most people begin to feel fatigued about 2 weeks after radiation treatments begin.

Is radiation worse than chemo?

Radiation therapy involves giving high doses of radiation beams directly into a tumor. The radiation beams change the DNA makeup of the tumor, causing it to shrink or die. This type of cancer treatment has fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it only targets one area of the body.

What should you avoid during radiation?

Avoid raw vegetables and fruits, and other hard, dry foods such as chips or pretzels. It’s also best to avoid salty, spicy or acidic foods if you are experiencing these symptoms. Your care team can recommend nutrient-based oral care solutions if you are experiencing mucositis or mouth sores caused by cancer treatment.

How many times can you do radiation on the brain?

Whole-brain radiation applies radiation to the entire brain in order to kill tumor cells. People undergoing whole-brain radiation usually require 10 to 15 treatments over two to three weeks. Side effects may include fatigue, nausea and hair loss.

Can you drive after brain radiation?

You will need to stop driving while you are having treatment and for up to 12 months afterwards. This depends on the type and grade of your tumour, and the type of treatment you have had. For example, you might be able to drive 6 months after surgery for a slow growing (grade 1) meningioma.

How long does it take to feel normal after radiation?

Most side effects generally go away within a few weeks to 2 months of finishing treatment. But some side effects may continue after treatment is over because it takes time for healthy cells to recover from the effects of radiation therapy. Late side effects can happen months or years after treatment.

What is the success rate of radiation therapy for brain tumors?

Overall survival rates were 83 and 69% for patients with methylated tumors and 56 and 38% for those with unmethylated tumors at 2 and 3 years, respectively. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Grade 2 and grade 3 mental status deterioration were detected in 31 and 25% of patients, respectively.

How soon after radiation do side effects start?

Reactions to radiation therapy often start during the second or third week of treatment. Or, they may last for several weeks after the final treatment. Some side effects may be long term. Talk with your treatment team about what you can expect.

Does radiation cause memory loss?

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy may cause difficulty with thinking, concentrating, or remembering things. So can some types of radiation therapy to the brain and immunotherapy. These cognitive problems may start during or after cancer treatment.

How many sessions of radiotherapy is normal?

Typically, people have treatment sessions 5 times per week, Monday through Friday. This schedule usually continues for 3 to 9 weeks, depending on your personal treatment plan. This type of radiation therapy only targets the tumor. But it will affect some healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

What are the three main adverse effects of radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy can sometimes cause: a sore mouth. loss of appetite and weight loss. discomfort when swallowing.

Which part of human body is first highly affected by nuclear radiation?

Which part of human body is first highly affected by nuclear radiation? ? Blood cells have the highest turnover rate in our bodies, so the tissue where they are produced — the rapidly dividing cells of the bone marrow — is the most susceptible to radiation damage.

Does radiation stay in your body forever?

Some sources of the radiation stay in the body for only a short time. Others, like seeds and radioactive medicines stay in the body forever. But the radiation gets weaker and is used up over time. Internal radiation does make you radioactive for a short time.

How long does it take for a brain tumor to shrink after radiation?

This can occur six months to a few years after treatment. However, there is less risk of necrosis today because of newer, targeted radiation therapies and the emergence of powerful imaging, brain mapping and information technologies.

Do tumors grow back after radiation?

If radiotherapy doesn’t kill all of the cancer cells, they will regrow at some point in the future. We have more information about radiotherapy treatment. Some immunotherapies or targeted cancer drugs may get rid of a cancer completely. Others may shrink the cancer or control it for some months or years.

Can radiation to the brain cause dementia?

Dementia can develop as early as three months after radiotherapy to the brain. It can also occur 48 months or longer after completion of radiation therapy. Symptoms of dementia (such as memory loss) can also occur after surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Can radiation cause personality changes?

Some treatments exacerbate rather than relieve the problem. Surgery can further damage speech or memory centers, and radiation can produce sudden personality changes because of swelling and long-lasting effects on memory.

How do you know if radiotherapy has worked?

After treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy, your doctor will examine you for any new growths. You’ll also get blood tests, X-rays, and other imaging tests. These tests will measure your tumor and see if your treatment has slowed or stopped your cancer.

What is the cost of radiation therapy?

The average cost of radiation therapy in India is usually between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 20,00,000 depending on which type of radiation technique that is recommended. However, the prices may vary depending upon the hospitals in different cities.

What happens to a brain tumor after radiation?

Radiation necrosis

Sometimes dead brain tissue forms at the site of the radiation. This is called radiation necrosis. The mass of dead brain tissue comes from both cancer cells and healthy cells. Radiation necrosis can take anywhere from months to years to develop.

Should you rest after radiation treatment?

Many patients are able to go to work, keep house, and enjoy leisure activities while they are receiving radiation therapy.” Others find that they need more rest than usual and therefore cannot do as much. You should try to do the things you enjoy, as long as you don’t become too tired.

How do I prepare for my first radiation treatment?

Preparation for Treatment

  1. Arrive on time for all treatment sessions. …
  2. Ask questions and tell us your concerns.
  3. Talk to therapists or nurses about side effects you are experiencing.
  4. Eat a healthy diet or suggested diet from your care team.
  5. Talk with the social worker about transportation, support, and coping with cancer.

More items…•Nov 9, 2020

Can you be around people after radiation treatment?

The radiation doesn’t travel very far from the treatment area. So it is usually safe to be with other people. However, as a precaution you will need to avoid very close contact with children and pregnant women for a time.

Which cancers are most likely to recur?

Some cancers are difficult to treat and have high rates of recurrence. Glioblastoma, for example, recurs in nearly all patients, despite treatment. The rate of recurrence among patients with ovarian cancer is also high at 85%.

What are the long term side effects of head and neck radiation?

Late side effects include permanent loss of saliva; osteoradionecrosis; pharyngoesophageal stenosis; dental caries; oral cavity necrosis; fibrosis; radiation recall myositis, impaired wound healing; skin changes and skin cancer; lymphedema; hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, lightheadedness, dizziness and headaches; …

How long does radiotherapy continue to work after treatment?

Radiation therapy usually does not have an immediate effect, and it could take days, weeks or months to see any change in the cancer. The cancer cells may keep dying for weeks or months after the end of treatment. It may be some time before you know whether the radiation therapy has controlled the cancer.

How long is a radiation treatment session?

Expect each treatment session to last approximately 10 to 30 minutes. In some cases, a single treatment may be used to help relieve pain or other symptoms associated with more-advanced cancers. During a treatment session, you’ll lie down in the position determined during your radiation simulation session.

What does radiation fatigue feel like?

Feeling very tired and lacking energy (fatigue) for day-to-day activities is the most common side effect of radiation therapy to any area of the body. During treatment, your body uses a lot of energy dealing with the effects of radiation on normal cells.

What cancers are treated with radiation?

Types of cancer that are treated with radiation therapy

Brachytherapy is most often used to treat cancers of the head and neck, breast, cervix, prostate, and eye. A systemic radiation therapy called radioactive iodine, or I-131, is most often used to treat certain types of thyroid cancer.

How much weight do you lose during radiation treatment?

For the entire population, the mean BMI was 22.60 kg/m2. A total of 212 patients (8.7%) were underweight, 1157 (47.6%) were normal weight, and 1064 (43.7%) were overweight/obese. During radiation treatment, the mean weight loss was 4.33 kg, and 53.6% (1303) patients had high weight loss (HWL; ΔW≥5%).