Definition of "radiation."
It is the use of high-energy rays to stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying.
Radiation kills cells they are dividing to reproduce -which cancer cells do much more rapidly than normal cells.
Several substances are used for radiation therapy.
Radioactive elements (radium and cobalt).
Radioactive isotopes (iodine, gold, phosphorous).
Measures important to health while receiving radiation.
Provide good skin care.
Don't remove radiation marks on skin; they serve as guides for radiologist.
To avoid scattering radiation rays, do no apply soap, cosmetics, deodorant or topical medication to treatment area.
Avoid extreme temperatures of hot or cold.
Protect skin from sunlight or wind exposure.
Wear nonrestrictive clothing.
Avoid any injury to skin.
Avoid hot water bottles or ice caps to skin.
Apply oils or ointments only as ordered if skin breakdown occurs.
Promote good nutrition.(Refer to Alteration in Nutrition: Anorexia, and Nausea and Vomiting Teaching Guides.)
Eat a well-balanced diet. (Provide "Daily Food Guide" handout.)
Weigh daily for early detection of weight loss. (Provide "Increase Calories" handout.)
Avoid food several hours before or after a treatment.
Get adequate rest.
Report early signs of bleeding such as bruises, petechiae, bleeding gums, etc.
Follow safety measures to prevent injury.
Avoid persons with respiratory or other infections.
Report any early symptoms of infection.
Factors that affect possibility of side effects.
Area of the body being treated.
Size of the treated area.
Total dose of radiation.
Possible side effects.
Skin reaction or discoloration.
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Loss of hair at treatment area.