Dangers of extended radiation treatment

OncoLink
Last Modified: June 8, 2012

Question

My sister is getting radiation every day- well, supposed to be- but at least once a week or more she takes a day off. Is this harmful?

Answer

Alexander Lin, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Penn Medicine, responds:

Yes. All efforts should be made to avoid treatment delays or interruptions. For each day that radiation is extended due to days off, the chance for cure goes down on the order of a few percentage points.

Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN OncoLink Nurse Educator at Penn Medicine, responds:

SPOHNC is a great support resource to check out.

Tracy Lautenbach, MSW, LCSW, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:

Oral Head and Neck Cancer Resources:

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Head and Neck Cancer Q&A Webchat transcript.

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