Stomach Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- What is the stomach?
- What is cancer, and how does stomach cancer spread?
- What are risk factors and causes of stomach cancer?
- What are symptoms of stomach cancer?
- How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
- How is staging determined?
- What is the treatment for stomach cancer?
- Radiation therapy
- How do I go about getting a second opinion?
- What are some of the nutritional concerns of stomach cancer patients?
- What are treatment options for cancer that blocks the digestive tract?
- What follow-up care is necessary for stomach cancer patients? What about complementary and alternative medicine?
- What support is there for cancer patients?
- How can I take part in clinical trials for stomach cancer?
- Stomach Cancer At A Glance
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It affects cells only in the part of the body that is treated. Radiation therapy is usually given with chemotherapy to treat stomach cancer.
The radiation comes from a large machine outside the body. You'll go to a hospital or clinic for treatment. Treatments are usually 5 days a week for several weeks.
Side effects depend mainly on the dose and type of radiation. External radiation therapy to the chest and abdomen may cause a sore throat, pain similar to heartburn, or pain in the stomach or the intestine. You may have nausea and diarrhea. Your health care team can give you medicines to prevent or control these problems.
It's common for the skin in the treated area to become red, dry, tender, and itchy.
You're likely to become very tired during radiation therapy, especially in the later weeks of treatment. Resting is important, but doctors usually advise patients to try to stay active, unless it leads to pain or other problems.
Although the side effects of radiation therapy can be distressing, your doctor can usually treat or control them. Also, side effects usually go away after treatment ends.
You may want to ask your doctor these questions before having radiation therapy:
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