For the first few weeks after radiation therapy, you may experience fatigue or low energy levels. These side effects are common and will go away over time as your body heals. Your doctor will want to see you for regular follow up appointments.
During these appointments, they may:
Check on the effectiveness of treatment
Ask how you are feeling and help you manage any side effects
Look for signs of cancer
Discuss further treatments if necessary
Monitor your recovery
You will generally need to have fewer follow up appointments over time.
You may also experience side effects after radiation therapy. Your doctor will consult with you about side effects that you may experience for your specific treatment plan.
Recovery and Rehabilitation After Radiation Therapy
After radiation therapy, returning to normal life may take some time and patience. Cancer treatment is hard on the body and recovery is a steady process. Your strength and energy levels may not be what they usually are for several weeks or months after treatment.
Radiation Therapy Recovery Tips:
Get plenty of rest
Eat regularly, even if individual portions are small
Exercise when you are able
Attend follow up appointments so the doctor can monitor your progress
Advise your doctor of how you are feeling or if you have any questions or concerns
Attend rehabilitation programs as needed
Join a local support group
Rehabilitation may be helpful to speed along your recovery and help you return to normal activities. Rehabilitation can also help you cope with symptoms, bodily changes, or cognitive changes. Many rehabilitation specialists provide support for changes in the patient’s life, both emotional and physical.
Common Rehabilitation Specialists Include:
Occupational Therapist: A specialist who helps patients learn to cope with illness, injuries, or disabilities. They work from both a physical and cognitive approach while assessing how to help improve your mobility or cope with normal activities.
Physiotherapist: Also called a physical therapist, this specialist will help you regain coordination, balance, and restore muscle tone. Their aim is to help return you to your normal levels of activity and mobility.
Dietitian: A specialist in food and nutrition who assesses your dietary needs during or after cancer. They will recommend the most suitable meal plans for each patient based on individual needs and make adjustments as needed.
Vocational Counselor: This specialist helps individuals who are recovering cancer with their employment. In some cases, they may help a person find and keep stable employment. In other cases, they may help the person adjust when returning to their original workplace.
Other rehabilitation specialists may include psychologists, rehabilitation nurses, speech-language pathologists, spiritual care workers, and social workers.
Cancer Support Resources
There are many cancer support resources that can help you learn to cope, live well, understand your treatment and symptoms, help you find support groups in your area, and more.
Serving Anderson & Greenville SC, and Surrounding Areas
We welcome patients and family from all over the world, but mostly those living within a hundred-mile radius of Anderson and Greenville, South Carolina.
AnMed Health & Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology are charter members of Levine Cancer Institute's cancer care network. Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute aims to build "a cancer institute without walls," by increasing access to specialist consultations, research offerings, program offerings and services to member institutions throughout the Carolinas.