Puffiness after radiation therapy

Most cancer patients go throughradiotherapy procedure. Its main goal is to destroy cancer cells, to suppress their ability to reproduce. Despite the fact that the methods of carrying out irradiation over the last decade have been significantly improved, nevertheless healthy tissues located close to the tumor suffer. This method can not be called completely safe for health. However, its effect in terms of reduction and destruction of the tumor in most cases overlaps the negative consequences.

What are the consequences of radiation therapy?

The effects of radiation depend on ittype, depth of penetration into tissues, individual reactions of a person. The stronger and longer the effect, the more noticeable will be the reaction of the body. The most common complications occur in patients who undergo long-term treatment. Not always the side effects of radiation therapy are severe, some patients tolerate such treatment quite easily. In some cases, the consequences develop immediately after the session, in others only after discharge from the hospital, because the therapeutic effect is realized after the end of the course of radiation therapy.

Complications after radiation therapy:

  • Skin reactions,
  • Pain, swelling of tissues at the site of exposure,
  • Shortness of breath and cough,
  • Reactions from the mucous membranes,
  • Fatigue,
  • Disorders of mood and sleep,
  • Nausea, vomiting, disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract,
  • Hair loss.

Most often there are skin reactions

After irradiation, the skin loses its resistance to mechanical influences, becomes more tender and sensitive, requires a more careful attitude and careful care.

Skin in the irradiated area changes color, in thisplace there is discomfort, burning, soreness. The reaction of the skin to radiation is similar to a sunburn, but it develops gradually. The skin becomes more dry, sensitive to touch. Perhaps the formation of blisters, which are opened, exposing a wet, painful patch of skin. In the absence of treatment and proper care, such skin areas become an input gateway for infection. On these places, ulcers can form. Non-healing ulcers after radiation therapy develop in severe cases, when patients have particularly sensitive skin, immunity is reduced, or they suffer from diabetes mellitus.

As a rule, skin reactions appear 10-15 days after the start of treatment and go through 4-5 weeks after the end of the irradiation procedures.

Degrees of skin damage as a result of radiation therapy:

  • 1 degree - a slight reddening,
  • 2 degree - redness, accompanied by desquamation or swelling,
  • 3 degree - extensive reddening with wet peeling and severe swelling.

Treatment of burns after radiotherapy depends ondegree of skin damage. At the first degree it is sufficient to maintain daily skin hygiene and apply a moisturizing cream after the irradiation procedure. In the second and third stages, if itching occurs, a cream with a corticosteroid content can be prescribed, which will significantly improve the skin condition. However, its use should be limited in time (no more than 7 days). To prevent infection in the wound, bandages are applied on it. If signs of infection appear, antibacterial bandages with active silver ions or iodine should be applied.

Signs of infection of the radiation wound:

  • Increased pain,
  • A sharp puffiness,
  • Increased redness,
  • Increase the amount of fluid in the wound,
  • The appearance of an unpleasant odor.

The high temperature after radiation therapy can be caused by the penetration of infection into the wound. In this case, additional tests are needed to establish the nature of the infection.

Reactions from the respiratory system

Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, cough after radiationTherapies develop when the effect is carried out on the chest area, for example, with breast cancer. Radiation lesions of the lungs appear within three months after irradiation. As a rule, cough is unproductive (that is, it does not bring relief). If an infection is attached, it is possible that the temperature increases and the general condition worsens. Treatment of radiation lesions of the lung is limited by several methods:

  • Electro- and phonophoresis,
  • Magnetotherapy,
  • Inhalation therapy,
  • Massage,
  • Breathing exercises.

In each case, the methods are selected individually, taking into account the nature of the changes in the respiratory organs and the nature of the tumor, for which irradiation is carried out.

With extensive irradiation of the abdominal cavity organs andsmall pelvis may suffer from mucous membranes of the intestine, stomach, and bladder. In connection with this, the work of these bodies is deteriorating. Irradiation of the ENT organs can lead to stomatitis, dryness and choking in the throat, painful sensations in this area.

Many oncological patients note such aa side effect of radiation therapy, like fatigue. This is a pretty unpleasant state. The fact is that it does not pass after sleep or rest. The patient has a feeling that he does not have enough energy. All this happens not only because of the effect of radiation on the body, but also because of emotional experiences, changes in lifestyle and nutrition.

In order to alleviate the condition, at leastslightly reduce the feeling of fatigue, you must try to comply with the regime, sleep enough time, engage in feasible physical exercises. Do not do hard work. You may need to ask for help and support from friends or relatives.

How to recover after radiation therapy? This question is asked by almost all patients. At the end of the course of treatment, the body regains strength after a while, adjusts the work of organs that have suffered. If you help him, then the recovery period will be faster.

Simple tips for rehabilitation

Usually after the course of radiotherapy, special drugs are prescribed. Strictly follow all the recommendations of the doctor, take the medicine, following the doctor's suggested scheme.

Even if you want to lie down all the time, findforce yourself to move, do not let the body stagnate. Movement will give vivacity. Easy easy exercises, walks will do. As much time as possible you need to be in the fresh air.

The liquid will help the body to get rid of toxins andharmful substances formed as a result of treatment. It should drink about 3 liters of fluid. This can be ordinary or mineral water, juices. Carbonated drinks should be excluded.

To the body as little as possibletoxins, quit smoking and drinking alcohol. The intake of alcohol in small doses (usually red wine) can only be shown in some cases. Then it is recommended by the attending physician.

Proper nutrition will help the body faster"recover". Food should be natural, without preservatives and artificial additives. No smoked foods, pickles should not be in the diet. More vegetables and greens.
Avoid being in the sun.

Wear loose clothing from soft tissues to avoid rubbing the place of irradiation.

Regularly show your doctor. Be sure to tell him about the cases when something has changed in the state of health, began to disturb the pain or the temperature has risen.

Treatment of cancer for manyof patients becomes a real test due to serious side effects. However, the day comes when a person feels relieved. He understands that the disease is receding, and life is improving.