HOW LONG DOES EXTERNAL RADIATION THERAPY TAKE?
It is given for 5 days a week for 6 or 7 weeks. Each session lasts about 15 to 30 minutes, but you will be getting your dose of radiation for only about 1 minute of this time. Some women may be given an extra "boost" of radiation to the site of the tumor at the end of the entire course of treatment.
IS EXTERNAL RADIATION THERAPY PAINFUL?
You most likely won't see or feel anything during your actual treatment, but it can leave changes in your skin's appearance. You may also feel tiredness, a skin reaction like sunburn, or itching and peeling of the skin. Many women have no side effects at all.
You do NOT become nauseated or vomit from radiation to your breast, and it does NOT cause you to lose your hair.
WILL EXTERNAL RADIATION THERAPY AFFECT MY DAILY LIFE?
The radiation may make you feel tired. You may want to plan less activities at work or home. You must go to the hospital 5 days a week. If you don't live near one, this may require a lot of driving.
WILL MY RADIATION THERAPY HARM PEOPLE AROUND ME?
External Radiation does not cause your body to become radioactive. There is no need to avoid being with other people because of your treatment. Even hugging, kissing and having sexual relations with someone will not expose them to radiation.