Patient Comments: Radiation - Side Effects


Did you experience side effects from your radiation therapy? What were they? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Edwin, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: January 07

My age is 88, and I have been treated for skin cancer for 15 years, 2 Mohs surgeries plus minor surgery to my head and now to my nose. Due to detecting squamous cell carcinoma inside my nose, the treatment was radiation as it would have required extensive surgery to repair. I had 6 weeks of radiation treatment that appeared to be successful, but I am still experiencing problem after one year. A clear liquid is leaking from the lower part of the face each day and I am also being treated for atrial fibrillation using warfarin.

Comment from: Johnny no good, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 22

My best friend was recently treated for throat cancer, and we were both most surprised at how well he was doing with the radiation therapy and one day of chemotherapy per week, especially not relying on his feeding tube until his last month of treatment. Of course we expected some residual effects from the treatment which he finished late January, but 4 months later he is actually getting worse and has difficulty even with a cup of soup for the past several weeks. Currently just about everything is via tube.

Comment from: D. M. C., 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: February 21

My husband has lung cancer now in stage 4. Two years ago he had middle and lower lobe on the right side removed, and then chemotherapy and radiation. One year later it came back in a small area, and he had more chemotherapy and radiation. For the 3rd time last year his cancer had metastasized and he was given immunotherapy. But the earlier radiation treatment (supposedly a strong targeted treatment) has so severely burned his good lung as well, he has pneumonitis and now pulmonary fibrosis. He can hardly breathe, constantly getting pneumonia, infection, pus in the lung, weakness and constant hospital stays! Recently a bronchoscopy and biopsy were done. We are awaiting the results. The doctor thinks the cancer may have spread to the bone marrow or bone as his platelets are extremely low. And so it goes on. All he wants to do now he says is be allowed to die. Why prolong life when there is no quality left!

Comment from: yellowgarden60, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

My side effects from radiation therapy are headaches and nausea.

Comment from: Lynn, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 17

My husband had total nodal irradiation for Hodgkin's lymphoma 34 years ago when he was 28 years old. He had no further issues whatsoever until two years ago when he required an aortic valve replacement that his surgeon thought could possibly be attributable to the radiation therapy. Recently my husband has started to have significant shortness of breath with mild to moderate activity. We await a pulmonology consult, which is my reason for visiting this site today. The more research I do ahead of these appointments, the better our ability to ask the appropriate questions, and understand the answers.

Comment from: houston2sandiego, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 23

I was diagnosed with a thymoma 12/2011 that also invaded the left auricle of the heart 3 years ago. I had surgery to remove the tumor and then I had 35 radiation treatments and had no substantial side effects. It was a very difficult situation for the radiation oncologist due to the heart issue but I came through it very well. One minor side effect was the fatigue, but I was still able to drive myself to the treatment each time. My recent annual check-up (1/2014) showed no re-occurrence. Hope this helps someone going through this; don't give up... there is an 86% recovery rate for this cancer.

Comment from: summer, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: May 21

My husband had radiation therapy for lung cancer. That was over six years ago. He is still in remission. Our problem has been the treatment. The radiation destroyed the air sacs. He is now on oxygen 24/7. His quality of life is not good at all. Anyone taking radiation therapy, please ask if there will be permanent side effects.


Cancer is the result of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. See Answer