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Frequently Asked Questions:

Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.  Here are some of the more frequently asked questions: 

How does radiation therapy work?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging DNA, the cell’s genetic code. Radiation affects all dividing cells, both normal and abnormal. This therapy is useful for treating cancer because cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than many of the normal cells around them. Although some normal cells are affected by radiation, most normal cells appear to recover more fully from the effects of radiation than do cancer cells.

Am I radioactive?

No, you are not radioactive and you will not be a danger to anyone during or after your course of radiation therapy delivered by beams. 

Will I feel the radiation?

Similar to having a routine X-ray, there is no sensation during the time you receive the radiation. 

Will I need X-rays or blood work during treatment?

Blood tests may be done when indicated to check your blood counts. Your doctor may also order other diagnostic tests or scans throughout your course of treatment depending on your specific problem. 

Will I lose my hair if I receive radiation?

Only hair within the radiation port will be affected by treatment. You will lose scalp hair only if you are receiving radiation to your head. If the entire brain needs to be treated, the radiation can affect the entire scalp. But only a part of the scalp may be affected if a smaller portion of the brain is radiated. Whether the hair loss is temporary or permanent depends on the dosage