Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy (ARBR)

Hints and FAQs

This section is intended to provide hints and answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in relation with the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy (ARBR). For further questions and answers please contact ARBR. We are open to suggestions and comments on these items, and any feedback is most welcome.

Questions:

1. Does radiation hurt?

2. Will my hair fall out?

3. Is cancer contagious to children, wife/husband and all other people in contact with the patient?

4. Am I radioactive after treatment?

For further questions about cancer and treatment contact the Oncolink of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center.

Does radiation hurt?


Radiation is like sunlight, but of a higher energy without heat. You will not feel the administration of radiation. Near the end of the treatment, you may experience some moderate skin reaction, which fades after the completion of the treatment.


Will my hair fall out?


Radiation is directed to a specific part of the body and only affects this area. Your hair will only fall out if the head is irradiated.


Is cancer contagious to children, wife/husband and all other people in contact with the patient?


Cancer is NOT infectious. It should be noted that a family history of breast cancer is associated with higher rates of this type of cancer. It is therefore wise for women with such history to be trained in breast self-examination at an early postpubescent age and to have regular medical checkups.


Am I radioactive after treatment?


No. It is like standing in the sunlight. You do not glow in the dark afterwards. Having said this - there is a very small amount of transient radioactivity induced by high energy photons fron linear accellarators and in patients treated with neutrons. The energy and intensity do not cause a significant exposure for family and friends.