Frequently Asked Questions in Radiation Oncology

Will my hair fall out during radiation therapy?

You will lose hair only in the area that is being directly treated.

Can I eat before radiation treatment?

Yes. You may eat or drink before treatments.

Can I take a shower?

You may take a shower. Use a mild soap such as Dove, then rinse off. Avoid scrubbing or using anything that may cause friction to the treatment area. While drying off, gently pat the treated area with a soft towel and do not rub hard.

Can I drive myself to and from the treatments?

Yes. You may drive if you are feeling well and do not have any restrictions from your physician.

Can I go swimming?

Swimming is not recommended. The chemicals found in most pool water may irritate your skin. The alignment skin marks may also fade from soaking in water for too long.

How long will each daily treatment take?

Generally, it takes about 5 minutes to position a patient for a treatment. The actual treatment itself may take another 1 or 2 minutes. In most cases, the overall treatment time will last about 15 minutes.

Will the radiation treatments hurt?

No. You should not feel any pain. You will not hear or feel the radiation treatment.

Will the markings stay on me forever?

Skin marks should be carefully preserved and not washed unless instructed to do so. These markings will fade over time but you will receive permanent tattoos that are small and freckle-like. These will not wash away.