What are the side effects of radiation treatment
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I have heard that mesothelioma patients often have both chemotherapy and radiation, and sometimes surgery, sometimes all three. I know about the side effects of therapy, bu I don't know much about radiation and its side effects. Can you talk about that?
I just want to reemphasize that one point, that it's not like one size fits all. Sometimes, people have chemotherapy, then they have surgery. Sometimes they have surgery, then they have chemotherapy. Sometimes they just have chemotherapy, and sometimes they have radiation to the chest wall, they have radiation to different things as the journey goes on. A lot of times, people can have all three, right, [inaudible 00:00:54]?

Yeah, they do. I would say the side effects that I'm familiar with radiation ... I'm certainly not a radiation specialist, but usually, if you go for radiation, it's consecutive treatments Monday through Friday to a certain area. Usually, I think it's probably between 15 and 30 treatments. It can be very difficult. It can be very grueling. I think fatigue is the number one side effect, and I think the burning of the skin. People will say that it was like the worst sunburn of their lives. Again, it depends upon what area has been radiated. That also plays into factors about what side effects you can possibly endure. Radiation isn't easy by any stretch, but it does help quite a bit if that's what's been ordered for your care.

Yeah. A lot of times, the radiation is used for pain, if the tumor is impinging on a nerve that's giving you a lot of pain. Sometimes, it's used in the course of the treatment.

To shrink the tumor.

Shrink the tumor, yeah, exactly, and after [inaudible 00:02:16] to get any of the spots that might be there. But again, like [inaudible 00:02:21] has said, fatigue is usually the one that people really complain about. They feel great the first week or so, and then it just hits them in the third week. It's just overwhelming fatigue.
I guess that's ... Maybe we should say a little bit more, too, at this point, about pain. Pain management has come a long way in the past 10-15 years. There's specialists in that area, pain and palliative doctors. There's ways to keep patients very comfortable, so that it's not something that they should be totally focused on, that the pain won't be under control, because they've come a long way in the last few years, especially with any of these side effects.

Yeah.

There's creams. There's different things that people can do.

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