For most people, receiving a cancer diagnosis is a major shock. The good news is that many patients have good outcomes when cancer is caught early and radiation treatment is administered. However, dealing with the stress of learning that you have cancer and undergoing a full course of radiation treatment is rarely easy. Thus, it is a good idea to know what to expect before your radiation treatment begins. Knowing what to expect will allow you to plan and prepare in advance. Use the following tips to help you get through radiation treatment for cancer:
Make Taking Care of Your Skin a Priority
When you go through radiation treatment, you will most likely notice a change in your skin in the area where the radiation is administered. Many people complain of their skin becoming very sensitive, red, and sometimes sore to the touch. Once your radiation treatment begins, you will need to pay extra attention to how you care for your skin. When showering, wash your skin with a very mild soap that does not contain fragrances or other additives. You should also refrain from using lotion, wearing perfume, or using any type of skin product that contains alcohol as these things can further irritate skin that is already sensitive from the radiation.
Plan Your Diet Carefully
After a cancer diagnosis and starting radiation treatment, it is important to keep your strength up and nourish your body. Thus, it is essential to consume a healthy diet. Some people experience appetite changes or nausea while undergoing radiation treatment, so consuming enough food to keep you going and prevent weight loss can be a challenge. You should consider meeting with a dietician who has experience with oncology patients prior to beginning radiation. A dietician can help you create the right diet plan to follow while you complete your treatments.
Build a Strong Support Network
Going through cancer on your own is incredibly difficult. You will most likely do much better if you have a strong support network around you while you go through your course of radiation treatments. Take the time to talk to friends and family members about your health and know who you can count on to assist you. You may need someone to drive you to and from your radiation treatments or help you with chores or meals if you feel very fatigued. Having loved ones available to help can make a big difference.
Contact a cancer radiation treatment center for more information.