2 Jun
2010

If radiation is recommended to you for control of symptoms, I suggest you read Chapter 6 carefully. Aspects to consider are discussed in detail there. In brief though, the usual cost versus benefit balance must be weighed up. How seriously are the symptoms interfering with your day-to-day life? What other ways are there of treating the symptoms? What exactly would these treatments involve? What chance is there that radiation will control the symptoms? How many treatments would you need? How quickly would it act? Would you have to be hospitalised and if so, for how long? For how long would the symptoms be controlled? How likely is it that the symptom would recur in your lifetime? What side effects of treatment could there be? Could radiation that is mainly aimed at treating a symptom also result in you living longer (for example, by temporarily reducing the size of cancer deposits in the brain or by temporarily opening up an obstructed windpipe)? If it could result in your living longer, is this what you really want? What other symptoms could develop in that extra time? How likely is it that they could be controlled?
These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself and your doctor before deciding whether or not to have palliative radiation treatment.
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Cancer
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