Radiotherapy Roulette

Right enough of this holiday malarkey and back to the business in hand.

At my last visit to my oncologist she advised me that I should have 3 or 4 rounds of radiotherapy. When I met with the radiotherapist she said that I would get 13 to 15 rounds of palliative treatment to alleviate symptoms. These rounds would be given on consecutive weekdays. I found this a little odd as altough I am getting some discomfort mainly around the tumour sites I haven't really complained about them. Anyway my reasons for this post is to ask if anyone has had this treatment and although I have read and seen the leaflet and video from RCLCF, I don't see if there are any things I can do to reduce the side effects of the therapy which are mainly, tiredness, possible skin irrititation and burning of the oesophagus.

I think I read somewhere, probably the U.S. Inspire site, that applying E45 cream to the skin, and taking Manuka honey prior to each treatment can reduce the side effects.

Hope everyone is keeping as well as they can and it hopefully it won't be long till summer😎


15 Replies

  • Hi Rab

    I asked my radiologist for cream and she gave me E45 to help soothe the skin irritation and it worked great. Manila Honey I have drank for years but the rule of thumb for radiotherapy is drink lots of liquids. I have had 25 rounds of radiotherapy and the liquid intake did help.

    Hope all goes well for you.

    Elaine 🍺

  • Sorry I meant manuka honey.........typo lol x

  • Thanks Elaine, 25 rounds is a lot. You certainly get value for money at Beatson. Were they given on consecutive days? I'm off to the shops for cream n honey.


  • Hi Rab, you said it, definitely value for money at the Beatson but they are brilliant. Radiotherapy Monday to Friday at the same time each day, Saturday and Sunday off for good behaviour.

    Take care Elaine x

  • I had 5 sessions to help my cough and took manuka honey, one tablespoon before and after each treatment. I use doublebase gel twice a day as I have very dry skin due to taking Tarceva. My oncologist also prescribed Antacid and oxetacaine oral suspension to take 15 minutes before eating if I had any burning. I didn't at all. One day I coughed every time I tried to eat but no pain and apart from that was fine. It did work to stop my cough too! Hope yours is successful.

    Best wishes. Julie

  • Thanks Julie I'll ask about antacids etc. at my next appt.

    Stay well Rab

  • Hi Rabbie

    I had 33 sessions of radiotherapy as part of ny first line treatment last November /December and I was warned about oesophagus pain and it was a bit painful but I too had antacids etc and also had all my medication in liquid form as i struggled to swallow tablets. The radiologists provided me with stuff to shower with and that kept my skin ok and they also provided a moisturiser that I used twice a day. My skin reddened a bit but soon recovered. I went off food and we had lots of soups and basically anything I fancied. I didn't fancy healthy food. I did get very tired - but we tried to do bits and pieces when I felt up to it and we tried cto organise a few treats. The daily trip was quite hard work but I had great delight in ticking off each day - it seemed so long at the beginning but the weeks passed quite quickly. I wasn't fit enough to continue to play golf. I'm still hoping that I might get back to doing it. I didn't have honey. Unfortunately I am left with some residual cancer and have just started a new chemo regime . Good luck. Jenny.

  • Hi Jenny, like Elaine you certainly have had the full radiotherapy treatment!! I'm still hopeful of getting in a round or two whilst having the treatment, and I mean golf not drinks 😀. Keep us posted on your chemo journey and hopefully nail it this time.


  • Cheers Rab

    Am in hospital at the moment getting breakthrough pain under control. Good people watching -would prefer a street cafe and a cup of coffee - never mind -this will do. I'm beginning to get my head around this breakthrough pain and now we know it's not life threatening it's not so scary. Palliative team are good and am sure I'll soon be out enjoying the 'bucket list' and hopefully a bit of golf too.

  • Good luck Rabbie

    Hope the radiotherapy goes smoothly and the suggestions help. Let us know how you do. Hope their is just the right amount of sunshine in Aberdeen to keep your vitamin D levels up during the next treatment patch.

    Certainly a promising start today in Glasgow. Though the kids finish for their summer holidays on Friday, so no doubt it will be raining by then :-(


    Lorraine & the team

    @Roy Castle

  • Will do Lorraine. It's cloudy and a balmy 11° here in Aberdeen☁☔. Yes the Glasgow Fair fortnight, now there's a contradiction in terms...

  • My thoughts are with you Rab. Keep on fighting. :) xx

  • Many thanks Jill.

  • Hi Rab, my husband had radiotherapy and found bepanthen cream much better for sore skin than e45 .

  • Hi Jacqueline, thanks for the info I'll keep it mind. Just finished the 3rd day of radiotherapy and no problems so far. Long may it continue.


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