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Does radiation therapy hurt?
No, radiation therapy does not hurt while it is being given. However, the side effects that people may get from radiation therapy can cause pain or discomfort. Your doctor, and your nurse can help manage side effects.
Will external beam radiation therapy make me radioactive?
No, external beam radiation therapy does not make people radioactive. You may safely be around other people, even babies and young children.
Can I go to work during radiation therapy?
Some people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can only work part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what you may expect based on the treatment you are getting. You are likely to feel well enough to work when you start radiation therapy. As time goes on, do not be surprised if you are more tired, have less energy, or feel weak. Once you have finished your treatment, it may take a few weeks or many months for you to feel better.
What should I bring while on treatment?
• Anti-nausea, pain or anxiety medications that you would normally take during your treatment time
• A sweatshirt to wear over your gown to keep you warm while you are waiting
• Reading materials and music that can help you to relax while you are waiting
Can I drive while I am on treatment?
Driving to and from your treatments is usually not a problem, unless you are taking any medications that have a side effect of drowsiness or another doctor has told you that you cannot drive.
Can I bring my family to the treatment area?
We encourage you to bring a friend or family member with you to your appointments in Radiation Oncology. When you are going back to the treatment area we ask that your support person stay in the lobby area.
Should I eat before treatment?
Unless you are told to do otherwise, please eat as you normally would, don't skip any meals and take your medications as scheduled.
Where can I get food?
• Coffee and crackers are available in the front waiting area
• There is a vending machine available on level 1 of the hospital next to the imaging department
• Patient kitchen: you can order from the Jiahui Patient Kitchen. Please inform us when you needed
• There are many restaurants located in the nearby area
Where do I get my blood drawn?
Depends on your treatment, your doctor may order blood test to be drawn before, during or after your treatment. The frequency of blood draws depends on the area of the body being treated. The blood will be drawn in our clinic by one our nurses or you can have it done at your local hospitals if you chose.
Will my health insurance cover treatment costs?
Our department Billing Office will submit claims to insurance companies, government programs indicated by you. The billing office personnel will verify the completeness of necessary billing forms and supply all the necessary information for the payers to process and pay the claim. Please bring with you any referrals or authorizations which your insurance company requires in order to make payment for services.
When should I contact my doctor?
NOTIFY YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
• Shaking or chills or a temperature of 101°F or 38.3° C
• Unusual cough, sore throat, lung congestion or shortness of breath
• Burning discomfort when you urinate
• Redness, pain or sores in your mouth
• Nausea, vomiting or inability to eat or drink for more than 24 hours
• Diarrhea (loose, watery stools) for more than 24 hours
• Constipation (no bowel movement in 2-3 days)
• Bleeding or unusual bruising
• Pain not controlled by your current medications
• Any new or unusual symptom that concerns you
Tell your doctor or nurse if you are having any new problems, even if they do not seem to be related to your radiation treatment. If the issues are in fact not related to your radiation therapy, you will be referred to your primary doctor for discussion.