External Breast Radiation


Possible Complications

External RT does not cause your body to become radioactive. It can cause side effects. The radiation harms healthy cells and cancer cells. Here are some common side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Skin changes (redness, irritation)
  • Reduced white blood cell count
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Lack of hunger

Talk to your doctor about the side effects you may have.

Factors that may raise the risk of problems include:

A person who is pregnant or could be pregnant should avoid being around radiation. It could harm the growing fetus.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.