Prohibitions to Follow for Ensuring Fruitful Radiation Therapy Sessions

Updated on December 26, 2022

The effectiveness of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer has made it very popular among doctors. By the year 2020, there would be about 3.17 million cancer survivors, and in the next 10 years, the projected figure is 4.17 million. Maintaining continuity of treatment contributes to the success of radiation therapy, and never there should be any missed sessions because it is the most common cause for unsuccessful treatment.  Not only does missed radiation therapy sessions prolong the treatment but also can have adverse effects on cancer treatment. It only makes things worse and never should there be any missed sessions.

While no one would intentionally miss treatment sessions, the side effects of radiation therapy might sometimes compel patients to miss appointments with the doctor. To ensure that there is no disruption in treatment by taking proper care of the side effects, there are some important things to avoid during radiation treatment therapy.

The threat of radiodermatitis

Radiodermatitis is a skin condition that can show up as a side effect of radiation therapy that many patients experience while undergoing treatment. Radiodermatitis affects almost 50% of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, and it manifests in the form of skin inflammation and appears as large red patches of skin on the back and arm from multiple sessions of the therapy. Not only does it cause discomfort, but it can also be painful and lead to sleep disturbance that affects normal life. When the severity of the side effect increases, it can become so much unbearable that it threatens to disrupt the treatment as patients might be unable to attend the sessions, or it can lead to a reduction in the amount of radiation therapy and render the treatment ineffective.

Encountering the threat with Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a gel obtained from a cactus-like plant with fleshy leaves that is available as a skincare cream for soothing the effects of sunburn, light superficial burn, and cuts. Aloe Vera gel has moisturizing properties too and is an important ingredient in beauty products. Patients who suffer from burnt or sore skin after the radiotherapy sessions use Aloe Vera for relief and comfort. Although there is no scientific data available about its effectiveness, that people do get relief to encourage them to use it.

Although Aloe Vera is supposed to provide relief from radiodermatitis, it acts on the contrary with radiation therapy and reduces its effectiveness. In the absence of any scientific data supporting the effectiveness of Aloe Vera from the side effects of radiation therapy and considering its adverse effects on the treatment, patients must refrain from using Aloe Vera. 

Foods to avoid

Shellfish and raw fish are dangerous for cancer treatment, and you must avoid it while taking a low salt diet to keep blood pressure under control. Fried and spicy foods are difficult to digest, and the frying process increases the production of free radicals which are detrimental to radiation therapy. Fruits and vegetables though healthy, can be bad for cancer treatment if used in the unpeeled condition.

Avoid Contact With Other People for a Few Days After Radiotherapy Treatment

There are two primary types of radiotherapy; external and systemic radiotherapy. If your doctor recommends external radiotherapy, you can usually go home after the treatment. However, if you are getting systemic radiotherapy, it is crucial to stay at the hospital for a few days after treatment or take necessary precautions to protect the people around you.

After systemic radiotherapy, your body will be emitting small amounts of radiation for a few days. That’s because the treatment uses unsealed radioactive substances that go around your whole body. Your body passes these radioactive substances through saliva, sweat, blood and urine, which makes these fluids radioactive for a few days after treatment. Therefore, it is essential to learn more about radiotherapy and the necessary precautions to limit radiation exposure to others as much as possible.

Here are a few precautions:

  • Keep your distance from others for 3-4 days after the treatment. Ensure you keep at least one arm’s length between yourself and the people around you. Additionally, sleep in a separate room or bed for a few days to avoid involuntary contact with a loved one. You should also avoid contact with pets during this period.
  • Choose a separate laundry day from the rest of the household and clean your clothes, towels and beddings separately.
  • Avoid splashing body waste around the toilet seat. Also, flush the toilet twice after use and clean any splashes from the surface.
  • Avoid sexual contact (including kissing) for at least a week after the treatment.
  • Drink more fluids to help speed up the release of these radioactive substances from your body.

Following the restrictions mentioned here should ensure effective cancer treatment. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.