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SNIPSTART Find A Radiation Oncologist

Side Effects

This list doesn't represent all of the possible side side effects. Please talk to your radiation oncologist about your specific diagnosis to learn more about how likely these side effects may be for you.

View the visual side effects chart.

Short term side effects

Side effects are usually temporary and usually go away shortly after treatment ends. Below is a list of possible side effects you might notice during your treatment.

More likely
  • Urinary discomfort/urgency
  • Ovarian failure
  • Loose stools/diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Skin redness/irritation 
Less likely
  • Rectal urgency
  • Hair loss
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in stool
  • Decreased blood counts

Long term side effects

After the short-term side effects of radiation therapy resolve, others may become noticeable months or years later.

More likely
  • Infertility  
  • Early menopause
  • Decreased vaginal secretion/dryness
  • Vaginal stenosis/narrowing
  • Loose stools/diarrhea
  • Rectal urgency
Less likely
  • Urinary frequency/urgency
  • Blood in urine
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Lymphedema
  • Hip and bone fractures
  • Fistula of bowel/vagina/bladder
  • Stricture of bowel/vagina/urethra
  • Secondary cancer