Thus radiation to the mouth, throat or nose can cause soreness and sometimes ulceration. Radiation to the stomach can cause a vague stomach ache, loss of appetite and nausea. Radiation to the intestines can cause diarrhoea. Radiation to the lungs can cause a dry irritating cough. Radiation to the bladder can cause cystitis-stinging and burning when passing, urine and a desire to pass urine frequently. Radiation to the skin can cause redness, soreness and ‘peeling’.
It is important to try not to place any extra demands on these areas during radiation. For example, you will be asked not to rub skin that is being radiated, and to avoid tight clothing and hot or cold applications. Steps will be taken to prevent infection in any of these areas—for example, by using antiseptic mouth washes if the mouth is being irradiated. Any infection that does occur must be treated promptly.
The bone marrow is another tissue which normally contains a high proportion of actively dividing cells. However, radiation of part of the bone marrow doesn’t usually cause any symptoms provided the rest of the marrow is normal. A large proportion of your active marrow must be irradiated to produce any change in radiation treatment the blood count. Even then, you would be unlikely to experience any symptoms as a result.
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