Advertisement

What are the side effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer?

When radiation passes through the skin, the skin cells in the treatment area become damaged. If you receive frequent radiation, your skin cells often do not have enough time to repair and regenerate in between treatments.

Thus, common breast cancer radiation side effects may include redness, dryness or irritation of the skin in the treated area. Another common side effect is fatigue, especially in the later weeks of treatment and for some time afterward.

By employing innovative radiation techniques, radiation oncologists are able to deliver higher radiation doses to breast cancer cells while limiting damage to healthy tissue. Your radiation oncologist may also recommend radioprotective drugs, such as amifostine, to help guard healthy tissue from exposure to radiation.

If skin irritation occurs, your doctors will provide various comfort measures. For example, you may receive topical drugs in the form of therapeutic creams or ointments. You may also receive antibiotics to fight infection or pain medications to relieve discomfort. 

Continue Learning about Breast Cancer Treatment

MBC: Should You Apply to a Clinical Trial?
MBC: Should You Apply to a Clinical Trial?
People diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) may consider volunteering for a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies that investi...
Read More
How Can Cancer Treatment Affect My Sexual Health?
How Can Cancer Treatment Affect My Sexual Health?
What Is the State of the Art Around Breast Cancer Today?
What Is the State of the Art Around Breast Cancer Today?
What Are the Treatment Options for Breast Cancer?
What Are the Treatment Options for Breast Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.