Radiation is the use of x-rays for the treatment of cancer. It destroys the ability of tumor cells to grow and multiply. There are many forms of radiation, your radiation oncologist will prescribe the type and amount of treatment that best suits your child's needs. Radiation is designed to kill the tumor cells, while allowing normal cells to heal.
Mouth or Neck
Some may experience increased fatigue during radiation therapy. Encourage naps, frequent rest breaks, and quiet activities.
Some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, such as mouth sores or digestive problems, can cause pain or discomfort. You should not give your child products containing aspirin or ibuprofen because they can increase bleeding problems and irritate the stomach. You can give your child Tylenol for minor episodes of pain.
Read labels of over-the-counter medicines carefully, and if they contain aspirin, salicylates, or ibuprofen, do not give them to your child. Pepto-Bismol is one example of an over-the-counter medicine that has aspirin in it. As a general rule, you should check with your child’s doctor before giving your child any medicine not ordered by the doctor.
It is a good practice for everybody to wear sunscreen, but it is essential for a child receiving chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation therapy, Bactrim therapy, and certain chemotherapy medications cause increased sensitivity to the sun. A child can experience very severe sunburn in a short amount of time. The following suggestions will decrease the occurrence of severe sunburn.
*Information provided by Florida Hospital Cancer Institute
Last update Nov. 1, 2008