Side effects of radiation therapy in the treatment of bone cancer

What are the side effects of radiotherapy in the treatment of bone cancer?

Side effects of radiation therapy depend on what area of the body is under treatment and the dosage radiation. Commonly, the side-effects are:

Side effects of radiation therapy in the treatment of bone cancer

1. Nausea

Antiemetic drugs help against symptoms of vomiting. Ginger or ginger supplements further catalyst the effectiveness of antiemetics.

2. Fatigue

Fatigue is a common side effect that may be present while performing certain activities or most of the time. The patient needs plenty of rest.

3. Loss of appetite

Radiotherapy may affect one’s appetite, metabolism, and eating habits. Therefore, a regular intake of nourishment is important.

4. Low white blood cell count and decreased immunity

The drop-down in white blood cell count may lead to dysfunction in the immune system due to which the patient may become susceptible to infections and other ailments. It is called neutropenia. In this case, antibiotics help reduce these effects. Furthermore, precautions like personal hygiene, food intake, and keeping skin wounds dressed is essential.

5. Low platelet count and bleeding issues

A decrease in blood platelet count is called thrombocytopenia due to which blood clotting problems may arise. It can further lead to nosebleeds, bleeding of gums, and profuse bleeding from skin wounds and call for urgent blood transfusions. Furthermore, precautions like avoiding the use of razors, using a soft toothbrush and wearing gloves or mittens while at working in the kitchen or garden are important.

6. Low red blood cell count and anemia

A drop in red blood cell count can cause anemia. Symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. In this case, erythropoietin (EPO) helps to increase the rate of red blood cell production. Moreover, food sources rich in iron like apricots, prunes, dry fruits need to be in the daily diet.

7. Hair loss, skin-related issues

There might be skin-changes in the areas treated like redness, swelling, peeling, and hair loss. A dermatologist may help in this case.

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