Effects from radiation years later?

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Hi All - I had treatment etc finish 9years ago and if I over exert myself I experience the radiation fatigue with sore muscles stiff joints and tender skin. 

Does anyone else experience the same? On Monday past I was carrying my large camera doing a photoshoot around a town so walking in sunlight. It’s Wednesday now and I’m stiff, stomach feels like cramps (that’s where I had radiation zapped in) and super super tired with not being able to sleep. 

  • Hi TaraMini

    Sounds familiar- I had pelvic radiotherapy in 2022. Although more recent than you- I was told the effects could start later on. Did you have similar effects during treatment perhaps. But I do get the stiffness, aching, fatigue and cramps. 

    I would suggest getting a general check up with GP to confirm it is due to the past radiotherapy to be on the safe side. Worth asking for blood tests for the fatigue effects. 

    I found information from here helped.

    Pelvic Radiation Disease Association (prda.org.uk)

    And also this

    Late effects of pelvic radiotherapy | Macmillan Cancer Support

    If you wanted to talk it through you could speak with one of the nurses on the Support Line who would be able to answer anything medical for you.

    Hope this helps



    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Thank you for replying. I have never heard of PRD. I read through that website thanks. 

  • Its surprising the amount of people who haven't. All it means is that there are some symptoms that can come up after radiotherapy- either at the time or later. Things can be done to help, but sometimes its just helpful to know that it can happen. Always important to exclude anything else though. I know after chemo I had problems with low haemoglobin and it was sorted quickly. I know my fatigue was worse then.


    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Tara - I was told that radiotherapy was ‘the business end of cancer treatment’ and they aren’t wrong!

    I was properly poorly after chemo but the cumulative effects of radiotherapy was a different level. I feel tired most days but there’s lots of things associated to that with me however, the effects of the radiotherapy have recently come into focus. My throat has now completely lost all function and I cannot swallow which is as a result of the regime and scarring

  • Hi Reevsey

    thanks for replying. Business end of cancer treatment meaning it’s the serious side?

    sorry about your throat - I’m learning that scars can grow so that must be the same for you too but in a much crazier area!

    how long ago did you have radiotherapy? I think for sure it does take a good few months if not longer for the fatigue daily to faze out. I just thought 9years on, my physical limits wouldn’t require me to go home from work. I do jui jitsu for past year which great for energy boosting and losing weight - except when I train too hard and can’t work the next day and feel drunk the day after. 

  • Tara - my pleasure. Yes, ‘the business side’ inferring that radiotherapy is where treatment regimes get serious because it is so invasive and the effects can do wonders for focussing on the bad stuff but you get loads of collateral damage depending on the area targeted.

    I finished 6 weeks of radiotherapy on Friday the 3rd of August 2018 - funny how key dates stay ingrained in your mind!

    I think being active is key. We’ve known for 50 years about mind-health (as well as physical) benefits of activity/exercise but having had cancer treatment you need to re-learn about your body and what your limits are! Sounds like you are super-active, getting a balance is important.