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Late complications of radiotherapy

Abstract

Radiotherapy is a standard part of cancer management. Irradiation often causes acute unwanted reactions, such as nausea, diarrhoea or redness of the skin, which, although troublesome, normally resolve within a few weeks.1 Acute bone marrow depression can also occur, particularly following irradiation of the whole body, but this too may be transient.2 In some patients, unwanted reactions develop months or years after treatment is completed. Here we review these late complications and consider how they can be prevented or managed.

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