You are scheduled to receive radiation therapy designed specifically for you. These guidelines will help you take an active part in your treatment.
What to Expect During Treatment
Temporary skin reactions may occur gradually. Usually these include redness, dryness, scaling, and itching of the treated area.
- Skin changes usually occur 1 to 2 weeks after your treatment begins and may last for several weeks after your last treatment.
- You may shower or bathe throughout your radiation therapy. Your nurse will recommend a mild soap for you to use.
- Moisturizers may be applied to the treatment area as needed. Do not use moisturizers within 2 hours before your radiation treatment. Suggested moisturizers include:
- To prevent skin irritation, wear loose fitting cotton boxer shorts and clothing. Cotton does not hold moisture and allows the skin to breathe.
- Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about impotence or fertility issues.
- Sperm banking may be an option for you before you begin your treatments.
- Take precautions to prevent pregnancy. Your nurse or doctor will discuss birth control issues and methods with you.
- The risk of developing impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is usually low because a low dose of radiation is used. If you had a surgical procedure called retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, your risk of impotence is higher.
What to Ask Your Nurse or Doctor
Ask your nurse or doctor any questions you may have about the following:
- Concerns about treatments and procedures
- Birth control methods
- Fertility and sperm banking
- Changes in sexual performance
- Availability of support groups
Things to Report to Your Nurse or Doctor
Tell your nurse or doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain, unusual odor, or burning during urination (emptying your bladder)
- Frequent urination
- Red, swollen, or tender areas of skin
- Any new or unusual symptoms
Things to Report Immediately
Call immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Temperature of 100.5°F (38°C) or above
In an Emergency, Call:
Revised January 2013