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If You Are Having Radiation Therapy

Questions for the healthcare provider

  • What's the goal of this treatment?

  • How will the radiation be given? Internal or external radiation?

  • Will I also need other treatment, like chemotherapy or surgery?

  • If so, in what order will the different treatments be given?

  • How many radiation treatments will I get? Over what period of time?

  • What happens if I have to miss a treatment?

  • Where will I get treatment?

  • When will radiation start? When will it end?

  • How will I feel during radiation?

  • How long will radiation take each day?

  • Will I be able to carry on my normal activities?

  • Will there be limits on what I can do, such as working or exercising?

  • How long does it take after the simulation scan to start treatment?

  • Do I need to be on a skin care regimen during treatment?

  • Can I drive myself to treatments or do I need someone to bring me?

  • What are the possible short-term and long-term side effects I should watch for? What side effects should I report? 

  • Are there late side effects I need to know about?

  • How long will it take me to recover from the side effects of treatment?

  • What are the chances treatment will work?

  • How will we know if it's working?

  • Are there any other treatment choices we should talk about? 

  • What can I do to get ready for treatment and to take care of myself during treatment?

  • Are there any clinical trials that I should think about?

  • Does my insurance cover the treatments? Do I have a copay?

  • Can I be near children or pets while getting radiation? 

  • Are there other types of radiation therapy that may work for my cancer? 

  • Does this center offer the latest technology or methods for radiation treatment? 

  • Have you and your team treated my kind of cancer before?

  • Should I get a second opinion?

  • May I use complementary or alternative therapies during radiation?

  • Can I take all my usual medicines during treatment?

  • Should I change my diet during radiation therapy?

  • Where can I learn more about radiation therapy?

Online Medical Reviewer: Akash D Parekh MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2023
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