"Catch Cancer before it catches You"

 Some Do's and Doníts  

  • Drink plenty of fluids every day during treatment.

Eat regularly and try to keep a balanced diet. if you don't feel like big meals, try eating little and often. The dietitian can help to plan a diet for you if necessary.  

Wash , shower or bath as normal during treatment using a simple or baby soap, taking care to pat dry the area being treated, rather than rubbing it.  

Don't drink spirits, eat spicy food or very hot or very cold food if you are having treatment to your mouth, neck or chest, but ask the radiographers if you would like more information  

Don't expose the treated area to the sun during a radiotherapy treatment course, as the treated area will burn more easily and take some time to heal. In the future it is advisable always to apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn.  

Don't put creams or deodorants on the treated area as these may worsen your skin reaction.  

Can I Carry On Working?

If you wish you can carry on working, as long as your oncologist agrees, there is no reason why you should not continue with your normal daily routine throughout your course of treatment. However do ask if you need advice.  

What Will Happen When My Treatment Has Finished?

The immediate side-effects of the treatment described above will start to ease off within a week or two of the end of your course. Because of the way radiotherapy works, the full benefit of the course of treatment is not usually reached until some weeks after the last treatment session.  

Will I Have Any Check-ups After My Treatment?

The first follow-up is usually about 4 to 6 weeks after the course has finished, and this appointment will be discussed with you before you finish at the treatment centre. However, follow-up arrangements can vary from person to person. Your oncologist will explain to you, how and where your follow-up appointments will be arranged.  

Can Radiotherapy Cause Permanent Damage?  

  • Radiotherapy treatment is planned and delivered with the utmost care, but sometimes sensitive parts of the body are damaged. This is because to treat the cancer effectively, it is sometimes necessary to use high doses of radiation, close to the limits that normal tissues can withstand. The bowel, bladder and nervous system are particularly sensitive, but other parts of the body can suffer long term changes. 

  • If you are having radiotherapy aimed at killing your cancer cells, there is a 5% possibility of side-effects which may seriously affect your lifestyle. However, it is important to balance this against the much higher potential risks to your life, from the cancer getting worse or recurring without the treatment. On the other hand, if you are having radiotherapy to shrink the tumor and/or relieve symptoms, then the much lower doses of radiation used are unlikely to cause any permanent damage.

  • If you do have any difficulties at any time in the future which you feel may be connected with your radiotherapy, then do not hesitate to contact your oncologist. If there are any special risks or problems in your case then your oncologist will discuss this with you. Bear in mind that you are being offered radiotherapy because the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.


Published and issued by STATE CANCER SOCIETY OF MEGHALAYA, for public interest.
For further information you may contact the Member Secretary of the Society, at the Cancer Detection Centre, Civil Hospital Shillong.
Phone : 0364-2500815 (O), Email : scsm@shillong.meg.nic.in