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Abdominal radiation - discharge

Radiation - abdomen - discharge; Cancer - abdominal radiation; Lymphoma - abdominal radiation

When you have radiation treatment for cancer, your body goes through changes. Follow your health care provider's instructions on how to care for yourself at home. Use the information below as a reminder.

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What to Expect at Home

About 2 weeks after radiation treatment starts, you might notice changes in your skin. Most of these symptoms go away after your treatments have stopped.

Your body hair will fall out after about 2 weeks, but only in the area being treated. When your hair grows back, it may be different than before.

Around the second or third week after radiation treatments start, you may have:

Skin Care

When you have radiation treatment, color markings are drawn on your skin. DO NOT remove them. These show where to aim the radiation. If they come off, DO NOT redraw them. Tell your provider instead.

To take care of the treatment area:

Tell your provider if you have any break or opening in your skin.

Other Self-care

Wear loose-fitting clothing around your stomach and pelvis.

You will likely feel tired after a few weeks. If so:

Ask your provider before taking any drugs or other remedies for an upset stomach.

Don't eat for 4 hours before your treatment. If your stomach feels upset just before your treatment:

If your stomach is upset right after radiation treatment:

For an upset stomach:

To help with diarrhea:

Eat enough protein and calories to keep your weight up.

Follow-up Care

Your provider may check your blood counts regularly, especially if the radiation treatment area is large.

Related Information

Colon and rectal cancer
Ovarian cancer
Dry mouth during cancer treatment
Eating extra calories when sick - adults
Drinking water safely during cancer treatment
Safe eating during cancer treatment
When you have diarrhea
When you have nausea and vomiting
Radiation therapy - questions to ask your doctor
Diarrhea - what to ask your health care provider - adult
Diarrhea - what to ask your doctor - child

References

Doroshow JH. Approach to the patient with cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 179.

National Cancer Institute website. Radiation therapy and you: support for people with cancer. www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/radiationttherapy.pdf. Updated October 2016. Accessed February 27, 2018.

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Review Date: 1/31/2018  

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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