Tell me about your experiences with long-term side-effects from radiation.

I'll most likely be needing it soon, and I'm curious. My oncologist tells me that I won't ever really be the same after, so that's intimidating.


  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • caligalcaligal Community Member
    I'm a little late at responding to this but hopefully my experience can help

    i had 6 weeks of radiation, 1/2 spinal and cranial and the other strictly cranial.
    #1 iv experienced long term hair loss in targeted radiated areas.
    it has grown back, just slower than the rest of the hair on my head
    #2 be sure you keep up on your dental hygiene.
    it would be ideal if i could get into my dentist for a routine cleaning 4 times a year but school etc has kept me from doing so
    i have been told that the radiation can soften and weaken gum tissue...this is why its important to see a dentist more regularly than people who have not had radiation
    with my lack of doing so im due to have a gum graph this friday to fix receded and softened gum tissue
    #3 keep up on your vision
    the radiation weakened one of my eye muscles so i have a very slight eye "seizure" which caused temporary eye crossing which then turned into a permanent bout of "double vision"
    i was recommended to a wonderful eye doctor at jules stein at UCLA who was able to fix the problem very easily with a simple pair of glasses

    keep your optimism high! i was 10 years old when i went through my radiation treatment and am now 11 years out of it
    i have had a few issues here and there but try and cope with them to the best of my abilities

    hope all works out very well for you
  • MattyRMattyR Community Member
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  • I had cranial radiation about 10 years ago and haven't really had any long term side effects. when I went through radiation I had some nausea (they gave me Zofran) and I had some hair loss in the targeted area and when it grew back it was curlier and darker. most of me side effects came from chemo which I had 22 years ago.
  • 34 here, diagnosed with astrocytoma at age 7. No more cancer, but lots of conditions that spring up as I age. It's frustrating. I just wrote a post on my blog about post-cancer illnesses and, by extension, cancer's persistence.

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