The most common side effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer are:
Skin reactions or rashes in the treated areas
Loss of appetite. During any type of cancer treatment, patients may lose their appetite and find it hard to eat well. Some cancer patients may not feel like eating because they are uncomfortable or tired. In addition, cancer patients undergoing certain chemotherapy regimens may experience nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, and a change in taste of foods.
Increased susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Radiation therapy may decrease the number of white blood cells that help protect the body against infection. For this reason, it is important to avoid being around other people with colds and flu during your radiation therapy.
Remember that most of the side effects of radiation therapy can be minimized or controlled. Also, in most cases, the side effects of radiation therapy are not permanent. Be sure to discuss any side effects you may be experiencing with your doctor, because there may be a way to minimize any discomfort.