Radiation therapy itself is painless, but some people may experience some general side effects as soon as seven to 10 days after treatment starts. According to the American Cancer Society, these include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, blistering or peeling skin and hair loss in the area where radiation enters the body. These side effects can be severe if the radiation is given along with chemotherapy, but they usually go away after the treatment ends.
If the radiation is directed to the middle of the chest, your food tract, or esophagus, may become inflamed, making it difficult to swallow. Some people may also have heartburn and trouble eating solid foods for a while. Melissa Culligan, a thoracic surgery nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center, says it’s important that you stay in close touch with the members of your cancer care team and notify them of any discomfort so that they can help manage these issues.
There are several types of lung cancer surgery, and the decision about which is best is based largely on the location of your cancer, its size and whether it has started to spread.
Surgical Options for Lung Cancer
How to Choose a Surgeon – Does Volume Matter?
What Questions Should I Ask When Choosing a Surgeon?
What is VATS Surgery for Lung Cancer?
Preparing for Lung Cancer Surgery
Quitting Smoking Can Help the Success of Your Lung Cancer Surgery
There Is No "Best Type" of Radiation for Lung Cancer: Understanding Your Choices
Adjuvant Therapy for Stage Two Lung Cancer
The Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer
Managing Pain After Lung Cancer Surgery
Side Effects From Cancer Treatments: Dealing With Diarrhea