Resources For Family and Friends


For Family & Friends

Hearing that a family member or friend has been diagnosed with cancer can be frightening. You want to do all you can to help them fight their disease and resume a normal, healthy lifestyle with as little downtime and discomfort as possible. The good news is that the TomoTherapy® and Radixact™ Systems are safe, effective treatment options for some patients.

Side effects vary from patient to patient and may include nausea and fatigue. However, most patients experience little to no side effects, and, when side effects do occur they often go away within the first week or two after treatment. As with any radiation treatment, the side effects can also be severe in some patients and lead to permanent injury or even death. Most side effects of radiotherapy, including radiotherapy delivered with Accuray systems, are mild and temporary, often involving fatigue, nausea, and skin irritation. Side effects can be severe, however, leading to pain, alterations in normal body functions (for example, urinary or salivary function), deterioration of quality of life, permanent injury and even death. Side effects can occur during or shortly after radiation treatment or in the months and years following radiation. The nature and severity of side effects depend on many factors, including the size and location of the treated tumor, the treatment technique (for example, the radiation dose), the patient's general medical condition, to name a few. For more details about the side effects of your radiation therapy, and if treatment with an Accuray product is right for you, ask your doctor.

What Can You Do to Help?

  • Gather as much research as you can on different treatment options. To help your loved one choose the option that’s right for them, be supportive and lend a listening ear. Take notes. It's helpful to the cancer patient to have another set of eyes and ears, so to speak.
  • Offer to drive and/or accompany your friend or family member to their appointments and treatments. While they may feel fine, accompanying them to treatment can be an important emotional support.
  • Taking these actions will make the overall experience better, regardless of their treatment choice.
  • Talk to your doctor about what side effects may be expected based on treatment choice and the patient’s health.