What is radiotherapy?

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is the use of high dose ionising radiation to destroy cancer cells. It may be used as the primary treatment modality or as an adjunct to another treatment. The process of radiotherapy itself breaks down cancer cells but can also affect normal cells in the nearby region which may result in side effects. Furthermore, the destruction of cells can increase the overall activity and energy consumption of the body as it works to respond to the impact of radiotherapy.

Common Side Effects

  • Fatigue – can be cumulative in effect and worst 2-4 weeks post treatment
  • Skin irritation: dry, flaky, rash, blisters
  • Restricted range of motion at joints near location of treatment

Exercise Recommendations

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Avoid exposure to extreme hot and hold temperatures (e.g. heat/ice packs over affected area)
  • Incorporate flexibility exercises
  • If no adverse reaction, water-based exercise is appropriate but rinse thoroughly