Will Radiation Therapy Make Me Radioactive?

1. What is Radiation Therapy?

2. How does Radiation Therapy work?

3. What can I expect after I am told I need Radiation Therapy?

4. Will Radiation Therapy make me radioactive?

Depending on the type of radiation therapy you will be receiving, you will generally not be radioactive.


Radiation therapy given as external beam treatment will not make you radioactive. When the external beam machines are turned on for your treatments, radiation is produced and aimed directly at the treatment area. Then when the machines are turned off, there is no storage or transport of radiation and the radiation is gone the instant the machine is turned off. With either brachytherapy or radiopharmaceutical therapy, you will be radioactive for a period of days to weeks. Specific written instructions will be given to you if you need to take radiation safety precautions. Both the state and federal government regulate the amount of internal radiation you may receive from these treatments and still leave our facility, so the amount of radiation is small and should be safe for your and your family if the written guidelines are followed.

5. Will the treatment hurt while they are being given?

6. Which side effects may I have, and how long will they last?

7. What things can I do to help myself during treatment?

8. How do I make an appointment?

9. Do I need preauthorization from my insurance carrier for treatment?

10. What other services can I receive at the Cancer Treatment Center?