How can I deal with side effects from stomach radiation for cancer?

If you are being treated with external radiation in the stomach or abdominal area you may experience side effects such as an upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea. If you don't feel well after radiation therapy, try not eating for several hours before your next treatment. If your stomach is upset before radiation therapy, try eating lightly, (toast or crackers and juice) before your treatment.

Also consider these tips:

• Be sure to follow any special diets your radiation oncologist and nurse may recommend.
• If you have nausea or vomiting, ask your radiation oncologist about anti-nausea medicine.
• Eat and drink slowly.
• Do not make yourself eat more than you can or want.
• Eat smaller meals more often and rest after eating.
• Try a clear liquid to allow your bowels time to rest.
• Include lots of mild liquids such as apple juice, peach or apricot nectar, soda water, weak tea or clear broth. Liquids should be taken warm or at room temperature; they should not be iced or very hot. Let carbonated drinks lose their fizz before drinking them.
• Eat smaller amounts of food more often.
• Avoid foods that may cause cramps (coffee, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, highly spiced foods, sweets, and chewing gum.)
• Drink plenty of liquids to replace those you have lost.
• When you are feeling better, gradually add foods that are low in fiber such as rice, cream of rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, mashed potatoes, dry toast and crackers.

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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.