Edema of the legs after radiation

Radiation therapy in oncology is one of the methodstreatment of cancer. The basis is the effect of ionizing radiation, which is created by special devices with a radioactive source. The positive effect is achieved due to the sensitivity of tumor cells to ionizing radiation. At the same time, normal cells practically do not suffer.

Malignant tumor dies when the maximum dose of irradiation accumulates in it. To achieve this, different techniques are used, directing the rays to the cancer from different sides.

  • Remote method. Irradiation is carried out at some distance from the surface of the skin.
  • Contact method. The apparatus with a radioactive source is placed directly on the skin.
  • Intracavitary method. The device is injected into a cancer-damaged organ (uterus, rectum, esophagus, etc.).
  • The interstitial method. A source of radioactive rays is placed in the tumor.
  • Internal irradiation. The impact of radionuclides, which selectively accumulate in an organ.

Radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer can be used as a single method (rarely), and in conjunction with other methods (surgery and chemotherapy). Irradiation is used:

  • before surgery (which reduce the size of the tumor, for example);
  • after surgery (to kill the remaining cancer cells);
  • before and after surgery;
  • with the recurrence of cancer after a long time;
  • when the tumor is metastasized in the bone and lymph nodes.

Who is not eligible for radiotherapy? Pros and cons of the method

Contraindications to radioactive irradiation:

  • the expressed intoxication phenomena; severe condition of the patient;
  • fever;
  • cachexia;
  • decay of a malignant tumor, accompanied by hemoptysis, bleeding;
  • extensive cancer;
  • tumor germination in hollow organs, large vessels;
  • cancerous pleurisy;
  • multiple metastases;
  • radiation sickness;
  • concomitant diseases in severe form(myocardial infarction, kidney disease, respiratory failure, active pulmonary tuberculosis, a third degree of cardiovascular failure, decompensated diabetes, etc.);
  • leukopenia; anemia; thrombocytopenia to a significant extent.
  • Cancer cells cease to divide, some of them die; the tumor decreases;
  • the vessels that feed the cancer are partially overgrown;
  • radioactive irradiation is effective in the treatment of cancer of the thymus, testis, lymphatic system; some forms of lung cancer.
  • hypersensitivity to irradiation of the hematopoietic system and intestinal epithelium;
  • low sensitivity to radioactive rays of brain, stomach, kidney, bone, cartilage;
  • many adverse reactions that occur during treatment.

What are the side effects of radiation therapy?

  • When the remote method of treatment, there is itching, skin peeling, dryness, redness, small vesicles.
  • When exposed to the head and neck, hair may fall out, hearing damage may occur.
  • When irradiating the face and neck, there may appear perspiration in the throat, dryness, pain when swallowing, hoarseness. The appetite is broken. How to prevent and reduce the activity of such reactions?

First, give up acute, salty, rough and sour food. Eat steamed, boiled, chopped or grated. Often and in small portions.

Secondly, drink more fluids. Fruit compotes, jelly, cranberry juice, broth of dogrose will suit fruit well. The throat can be rinsed with a decoction of marigold, mint or chamomile.

Thirdly, for the night to dig in the nose of the sea buckthorn oil. In the afternoon take any vegetable oil (one or two tablespoons on an empty stomach). When brushing teeth, use a soft brush.

  • When exposed to the organs in the chest cavity may appear dry cough, sore throat when swallowing, shortness of breath, soreness of the muscles.
  • Radiation therapy in oncology of the mammary glands can provoke an inflammatory reaction of the skin, tenderness of muscles and breasts, coughing.
  • Radioactive influence on the abdominal organscavity leads to weight loss and decreased appetite, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, pain; disturbed urination. Fight with problems should be through nutrition. As well as what to eat, is described above.

Radiation therapy of the brain

Used to reduce tumor volume andsuspension of its growth. Completely remove the cancer using this method is impossible. Radioactive beams are used to remove the remains of cancer after surgery and to treat an inoperable tumor.

What types of radiation therapy are used in brain cancer?

1) Irradiation of the whole cerebral mass.

  • multifocal malignant neoplasms;
  • metastases of the brain.

Used as the only method of treatment or as an addition to microsurgery and other types of radiotherapy.

2) Traditional radiation exposure.

  • a large tumor;
  • probability of metastasis on surrounding tissues.

Radiation radiation is directed directly to tumor cells.

3) Three-dimensional conformal therapy.

Using a computer, a tumor model is built. Depending on this, external irradiation is performed using different beam shapes and different directions.

4) Radiation with intensity modulation.

Different beam shapes and different directions are also used here. Additionally, the intensity of irradiation also changes.

The dose of one day is divided into several sessions. The person is irradiated several times a day in small doses.

At the end of the operation, a radioactive graft is implanted into or around the tumor. It is set for several days.

Consequences of radioactive radiation from the brain:

  • increased fatigue;
  • hair loss;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • redness of the skin;
  • headache;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • impaired brain activity (in children under three years old).

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer

It is used at all stages of a tumorprostate cancer. In the initial degree of the disease can be used instead of prostatectomy. Irradiation is also performed after the operation to kill the remaining single cancer cells. At a late stage of the disease, radiation therapy helps to reduce pain.

Types of therapy for prostate cancer:

One course is five days. It may take several courses at once. The source of radiation is at some distance from the human body.

Inside the affected organ, special capsules are introduced that release radiation for a certain period of time.

It is carried out with the help of a cyber knife. This is irradiation with a narrow-focused beam of increased intensity.

  • fatigue, general weakness;
  • frequent urination;
  • intestinal disorders;
  • redness and dryness of the skin in the irradiation zone;
  • impotence.

Radiation therapy for uterine cancer

It is often used to treat the initial stages of the disease. Radiation therapy after removal of the uterus is carried out, if the risk of recurrence is high. External and internal methods are used. The course is 5-8 weeks.

  • infertility (due to effects on the ovaries);
  • early menopause (approximately three months after starting treatment);
  • vaginal bleeding and discharge (some time after therapy);
  • diarrhea;
  • nausea;
  • burning with urination;
  • swelling of the legs or genitals.

Radiation therapy for lung cancer

In most cases, it is ineffective. It is performed with the impossibility of surgical treatment, before surgery and after surgery to remove the cancer cells preserved in the tissues and prevent relapses.

  • hyperfractionation (with non-small cell cancer of the first and second stages);
  • remote standard irradiation;
  • contact.
  • difficulty and painful swallowing;
  • increased fatigue;
  • indigestion;
  • cough;
  • damage to the skin (dryness, redness, small bubbles, itching).

These are temporary phenomena that after the course pass. Long-term consequence may be pulmonary fibrosis, which appears six to nine months after exposure.

Recovery after radiation therapy

Minimizing the harmful effects of irradiation and more quickly cope with its consequences can be through the following actions:

  1. Rest after each session for at least three hours.
  2. Eating correctly and balanced. Small portions 4-5 times a day. Food should be boiled or parboiled, chopped. More vegetables and fruits. Drink at least two liters of liquid per day.
  3. Wear soft underwear made from natural fabrics, spacious clothes.
  4. Wash with warm water and soap (no bast).
  5. During the period of irradiation, give up perfume for the skin. The area of ​​action should be protected from sunlight by creams.
  6. Perform respiratory gymnastics.
  7. Use gel and foaming toothpaste and a soft brush. Limit the use of dentures.
  8. More time to walk in the fresh air. Regularly ventilate the room.
  9. Refuse to smoke and alcohol.

These are general recommendations. Individual recovery plan will help make up a doctor.