Radiotherapy: Upper abdomen

Information for Radiotherapy Patients: Upper abdomen
The information in this guide is designed to explain what your treatment will consist of and the most common side effects of the treatment. Your doctors and nurses in the Radiotherapy Department will give you further information. Please feel free to ask all the questions you need to.

Special instructions for during radiotherapy

  • It is important to eat well. Try to eat enough to avoid losing weight. You may experience changes in appetite during treatment. Try to eat small meals 5 or 6 times a day - include high protein foods like meat, chicken, turkey, cheese and eggs. Avoid spicy foods, fatty or greasy foods and fried food. Try to always have something in your stomach, as this will alleviate nausea during treatment. If you lose weight or need information about the diet, speak to your nurse. Follow the instructions of your nutritionist.
  • If you begin to feel sick, vomit, have stomach pain, and/or diarrhea, tell your doctor or nurse. These symptoms can be controlled with medication.
  • You may feel more tired than usual. Try not to do too much and make sure you get enough rest during treatment.
  • You will have regular blood tests. If you notice that you are bruising more easily, speak to your nurse - this may mean your platelet count is low.
  • If your plateletcount is low, you will be more at risk of infection. It is important to avoid contact with people with colds or who have any kind of infection. Wash your hands frequently. Tell your doctor or nurse if your temperature goes above 38º C.
  • If you have any of the above, or any other problem, during treatment, do not wait for your weekly appointment. Ask you radiographer to contact your nurse.

Instructions for after radiotherapy

When you complete the radiotherapy treatment, it is important to follow these instructions.

  • You can go back to your normal diet about 2-3 weeks after finishing your treatment. Any side effects of the treatment should begin to fade during this period. If the nausea, vomiting or diarrhea do not stop, continue with the diet and medication prescribed.
  • It is very important that you speak to your nurse in the case of: severe nausea and/or vomiting, stomach pain or inflammation, severe diarrhea, or any other unusual problem.
  • Skin in the area to be treated may be more sensitive and irritated about 10-14 days after finishing treatment. This is usually temporary. It is very important to protect the treated area from direct sunlight and using a factor 40+ sun protection product.