What to Expect Before, During, and After Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy is different for each person. You and your care team will discuss your options.

Your doctor will explain:

  • The goals of your specific treatment plan.
  • How radiation therapy may help.
  • How successful he or she expects it to be.

You'll also learn how to prepare for your radiation sessions.

Your doctor will order a simulation session before your course of radiation treatment begins.

Simulation will let you “go through the motions” of the radiation therapy experience. It will also give your care team valuable information to use in planning your treatment.

Watch the videos below for details on what to expect before, during, and after radiation treatment for cancer.

Radiation Therapy Side Effects

Some people experience side effects from radiation oncology treatment. Radiation along with chemotherapy can heighten side effects.

Radiation therapy side effects can depend on the location of your cancer and may include:

  • Digestive discomfort (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea)
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Skin changes
  • Weight loss

Your radiation oncologist and the rest of your treatment team will try to reduce your side effects.

Supportive services like nutrition counseling can help.

Contact Us About Radiation Oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

To learn more about radiation treatments or to make an appointment you can:

This short video shows how we prepare a special mask to help with radiation treatments for head and neck cancer.

Difference Between Chemo and Radiation

The Difference Between Chemo and Radiation

Your treatment plan may be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or any combination of these so it is important that you understand your options.

Learn more from UPMC HealthBeat.