Oncology

Radiotherapy

About half of the patients who have cancer undergo radiotherapy. The radiation used is invisible and painless. Its aim is to destroy the cancer cells.

The treatment will be adapted to your specific needs. In general it lasts from about two to seven weeks. Sessions are scheduled from Monday to Friday and take a few minutes.

Radiotherapy

About half of the patients who have cancer undergo radiotherapy. The radiation used is invisible and painless. Its aim is to destroy the cancer cells.

The treatment will be adapted to your specific needs. In general it lasts from about two to seven weeks. Sessions are scheduled from Monday to Friday and take a few minutes.

Pain

Your cancer may bring with it pain due to inflammation, compression or infiltration of certain organs. Sometimes your treatment and the procedures involved may themselves be painful (blood tests, taps/punctures/drains, or the insertion of a catheter). In every case the pain must be addressed. It affects all aspects of your life and may delay your recovery. Report all pain, so that your treatment can be adjusted and made as effective as possible.

Nausea

Nausea is linked to your illness or the treatment you are receiving. It may occur before treatment, immediately thereafter or in the following days. Nowadays it can be better controlled thanks to systematic prevention by specific medication. In fact you will receive regular targeted sickness medication and from the first treatment cycle the dosage will be adapted to suit your needs.

Anxiety and fatigue tend to increase nausea. Tranquillizers or sleeping pills can help.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a frequent symptom, linked to your cancer and its treatment. It may be increased by the side effects of the medication, by anxiety and by disturbed sleep.

Patients describe it as a sensation of extreme, perpetual exhaustion that is not alleviated either by sleep or rest. It may also manifest itself as despondency, difficulty concentrating or thinking, or a loss of willpower. To assess your level of tiredness, a scale from 0 (no fatigue) to 10 (the most extreme imaginable) is used.

Digestive troubles

Your treatment may possibly upset your digestion, provoking diarrhea or constipation. Diarrhea is marked by liquid stools or more frequent bowel movements (two to four times as often as usual). It may give rise to problems of dehydration or local irritation and be accompanied by stomach cramps.

Anti-hormone treatment

Female (oestrogen) and male (androgen) sex hormones can stimulate the growth of certain cancers of the breast or the prostate.  These are called hormone-sensitive or hormone-dependent cancers.  In such cases your doctor will prescribe an anti-hormone treatment (wrongly referred to as a hormone treatment) which either stops your body making the hormones or blocks their action, thus preventing them from stimulating the growth of tumours.

Depending on your situation, treatment is prescribed for several years in one of the following forms:

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