Side effects of radiation therapy in the treatment of colon cancer

Radiation therapy is the kind of treatment that uses high energy X-rays or particles to destroy tumor cells of colon cancer.

Picture of a patient suffering from colon cancer

Radiation therapy like any other treatment has its side effects too and before getting radiation it is important for the person to speak to the doctor on the possible side effects and how long they will last. The most common side effects are

  • Skin irritation at the site where the radiation was given. The irritation ranges from redness to blistering and peeling
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Sexual issues like erection problems in men and vaginal irritation in women
  • Bowel incontinence which is also known as stool leakage
  • Bladder irritation which can make the person use the toilet often, burning, pain or blood in the urine
  • Nausea
  • Rectal irritation, which can cause diarrhea, painful bowel movements or blood in the stool
  • Fibrosis, scarring and adhesions that cause tissues that are treated to stick together.

Most side effects that are experienced will get better over time and once the treatment is over. There are also side effects that might be present permanently. If the person experiences side effects it is recommended to consult the doctor on how to relieve or reduce the symptoms.

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