​Irritated skin, a lack of energy, soreness and even pain are all symptoms of radiation therapy for breast cancer treatment. These can be tough to live with, especially following debilitating surgery or chemotherapy.

Here’s what to expect and how to cope.

Radiation treatment

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays, protons or other particles to target cancer cells and kill them.

Radiation is typically outpatient at a hospital or other treatment center and can be delivered externally (external radiation) or internally (brachytherapy) to treat cancer at any stage and reduce the risk of recurrence after surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy). It can also reduce the pain and symptoms of advanced cancer, including metastatic cases.