Affordable Health Insurance logo Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Health Insurance and More

  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting Radiation Therapy

African American patient receiving radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses high-energy particles or waves, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. But there are risks!
Potential dangers

Radiation therapy can cause nerve damage, damage to the heart, lungs and nearby organs. Research done at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found that radiation even causes breast cancer cells to form more tumors. So, caution is advised before undergoing any radiation treatment.

If your doctor is recommending radiation therapy, here are 10 questions to ask before agreeing:
  1. Why are you recommending radiation, and what results do you expect?
  2. How will radiation affect my cancer stem cells?
  3. How effective is radiation treatment -- will it kill all of the cancer cells or just some of them?
  4. What is your plan to strengthen my immune system during radiation treatment?
  5. How will you protect my heart, lungs, and/or other organs from the radiation?
  6. Will taking supplements help or harm me during radiation treatment?
  7. Will radiation increase the rate of relapse in the future?
  8. What can I do to improve the outcome of radiation treatment?
  9. Will a CAT scan be required (more radiation) to confirm the area that needs to be treated?
  10. What would you do if it was you, or your family members?

Know the facts

Asking these questions will help you make an informed decision as to what treatment you will accept for your cancer. You have a right to know not only all the facts - but the risks, too!

Read more by visiting
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.