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Radiation Therapy and You: Support for People With Cancer


Radiation Therapy and You is for people who are about to receive or are now receiving radiation therapy for cancer. Family and friends may also want to read this booklet.

This booklet is a guide you can refer to throughout radiation therapy. It includes facts about radiation therapy and side effects you may have depending on the part of your body being treated. It also highlights ways you can manage side effects.

This booklet covers:

Questions and Answers About Radiation Therapy. Answers common questions, such as what radiation therapy is and how it affects cancer cells.

External Beam and Internal Radiation. Information about the two main types of radiation therapy.

Side Effects and Ways to Manage Them. Information about side effects that may occur, depending on the part of your body being treated, and ways you can manage them.

Questions to Ask. Questions for you to think about and discuss with your doctor, nurse, and others involved in your treatment and care.

Lists of Foods and Liquids. Suggestions for foods and drinks that can help with side effects.

Talk with your doctor and nurse about the information in this booklet. They may suggest that you read certain sections or follow specific tips. Since radiation therapy affects people in different ways, they may also tell you that some of the information in this booklet does not apply to you.

The information in this booklet was last updated in April 2021.