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Radiotherapy - 6 week side affects?

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  • Radiotherapy - 6 week side affects?

    OK, so i finished my lowish dosage of radiotherapy on 6/6/06 ( ) and have been absolutely fine up until my first check up which was last Thursday.
    The check-up was very unintrusive and I had bloods and a chest x-ray done no problem.

    Now then, since Sunday, I started feeling a tingling sensation down my left thigh, calf and then left foot - a bit like a feeling of numbness crossed with pins and needles and aching... last night whilst brushing my teeth I noticed for the very first time that the patch on my chest that was irradiated has lost it's hair. If I stand back from the mirror, I can now basically see the rectangular area that had the radiation. This is new as I would definitely noticed this before.
    Today, the tingling/pins and needles has 'spread' to my right leg and foot - both legs ar now aching a bit now.

    Is this normal? It feels (to me) like it could have been triggered by the chest x-ray although i'm probably wrong.

    Has anyone else had similar sensations? Who should I contact to find out more - my surveillance oncologist? Actually, I think I'll give her a ring in the morning.



  • #2
    I finished by RT on 6/1/06, and I go in to get my blood tests and chest X-ray in a little while, in preparation for my followup visits next week.

    I have had some side effects that my radiation oncologist told me are "mental" more than physical and definitely not caused by the radiation treatment. Yes, my radiation oncologist is a very compassionate person (not).

    The nausea I had during treatment went away quite quickly after finishing the treatments, but occasionally I still sometimes get a little flutter feeling in my belly where I was radiated - this was very common when I was going through the treatment. I still don't like the taste of coffee or white wine. My fatigue got better over time, and now I have most of my endurance back - but still want a bit more sleep than I did before. I also really noticed the hair loss about 4 weeks after, and now the rectangle on my belly is completely hairless. I was told it will grow back but may not be as thick.

    One side effect that had me a little worried is a lower backache as it is one of the symptoms of a reoccurence. It started soon after starting the RT, so would not be a reoccurence if just 4 weeks earlier my CT showed my pelvic lymph nodes clear (assuming seminoma is slow growing). My radiation oncologist of course insisted it was not an effect of the RT. I've never had any back problems, but I think it was caused by a combination of the RT damaging tissues around my back and the fact that I was sleeping and napping 10-11 hours per day compared to the 6-7 before. In the past few weeks I have been doing exercises to strengthen my back and abdominal muscles and that seems to have helped a bit, but it is still there and in fact it is worse today as I helped my neighbor move furniture last night and I think I overdid.

    I can't see how a chest X-ray would cause a tingling sensation, but I guess I will find out for myself in a little while. Good luck and hopefully we will all be completely back to normal soon.
    Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
    RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
    All clear as of 5/8/09


    • #3
      The hair loss is common in the radiated area and I also experienced it. It will grow back over time. The pain in the lower back is also common and my doctor indicated the muscles would have this reaction due to the exposure of the radiation beam when they flip the machine to shoot from the back. It also will pass.

      Now the other symptoms of tingling are new and probably not related to the radiation. Perhaps a side effect from the back muscle pain? Would be worth monitoring and checking with the doctor.
      Diagnosed 5-5-05 (Stage 1 - Seminoma) / Oriechtomy 5-9-05 / Adjuvant Radiation July 2005


      • #4
        Sounds like L5-S1 part of the spine and a pinched nerve in that area. Very common in back injuries. Also common for disc herniation in the same area.
        Don't get too worried as most just get better with time. Walking is alway a good thing for any back problems as it keeps the stress down in the back while providing exercise and stretching.
        If it doesn't get better I would see the doctor.
        5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07


        • #5

          The numbness seems to have pretty much subsided today finally
          It was weird (and probably unrelated) but it started with my left thigh, moved down my left leg and foot, skipped over to the right and then by the time it got to my right knee (today), it's kind of eased - phew, that was strange.
          I now just have a slight pins and needles on my *** - how weird. I hope i'm not turning into a hypochondriac!

          Thanks for the reassurance about the hairloss Sans rt1 - i was thinking my side affects had been delayed by a month or so(!)

          Good luck with your check-up!


          • #6
            Glad you're feeling better!
            Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.


            • #7
              Originally posted by UK Mart
              Thanks for the reassurance about the hairloss Sans rt1 - i was thinking my side affects had been delayed by a month or so(!)
              Just wanted to report that the hair does indeed grow back after RT. At nine weeks post RT, I just noticed I have a nice crop of hairs starting to grow on my stomach. I guess I'll have to wait to see if it grows back as thick - not that I really care that much - small price to lower my risk of a reoccurence.

              And, just had my first follow-up post RT and everything is clear.
              Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
              RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
              All clear as of 5/8/09