Radiation therapy advice from survivors who’ve been there

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer or have completed one treatment and are preparing yourself for the next, the thought of radiation therapy may be scary or overwhelming. Although each patient’s experience is unique, it can be comforting to get advice from others who’ve already been through radiation therapy. We asked our Facebook community to share their best advice for coping with radiation therapy and its side effects. Here’s what they had to say. Ask questions: Educate yourself about what to expect beforehand by asking your care team as many questions as you can before you start radiation therapy. Be sure to ask about long-term side effects and lifestyle adjustments. Listen to your care team: Bring a notepad and write down your care team’s instructions. Heed their advice. If you’re experiencing adverse side effects or have other issues, don’t be afraid to speak up because they may have other solutions. Add some fun to your radiation therapy sessions: Befriend the staff or other patients in the waiting area so you have something to look forward to before each treatment. Ask your radiation techs to play your favorite music to get you through the session. Listen to your body: Don’t overexert yourself. Take it easy, and if you’re tired, take naps.  Address skin irritation: Some patients experience skin irritation as a result of radiation therapy. Luckily, there are things you can use to soothe your skin, from aloe vera, emu oil to healing lotions and even wound dressing pads. Ask your doctor or nurse what they recommend for you. Wear comfortable clothing: Loose, comfortable clothing can also help with...