Question: Does Radiation Affect People Differently?

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment?

The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes.

Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area..

What radiation does to cells?

Ionizing radiation—the kind that minerals, atom bombs and nuclear reactors emit—does one main thing to the human body: it weakens and breaks up DNA, either damaging cells enough to kill them or causing them to mutate in ways that may eventually lead to cancer.

How do you rid your body of radiation?

Decontamination involves removing external radioactive particles. Removing clothing and shoes eliminates about 90 percent of external contamination. Gently washing with water and soap removes additional radiation particles from the skin. Decontamination prevents radioactive materials from spreading more.

How does radiation affect the human body?

Exposure to very high levels of radiation, such as being close to an atomic blast, can cause acute health effects such as skin burns and acute radiation syndrome (“radiation sickness”). It can also result in long-term health effects such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

What is the first sign of too much radiation?

The initial signs and symptoms of treatable radiation sickness are usually nausea and vomiting. The amount of time between exposure and when these symptoms develop is a clue to how much radiation a person has absorbed.

What organs are most sensitive to radiation?

For example, since the blood forming cells were one of the most sensitive cells due to their rapid regeneration rate, the blood forming organs are one of the most sensitive organs to radiation. Muscle and nerve cells were relatively insensitive to radiation, and therefore, so are the muscles and the brain.

What organs are affected by radiation?

Let’s do a head-to-toe walk-through to investigate how high doses of radiation can damage the human body.Brain. Nerve cells (neurons) and brain blood vessels can die, leading to seizures.Eyes. Radiation exposure increases the risk of cataracts.Thyroid. … Lungs. … Heart. … GI tract. … Reproductive organs. … Skin.More items…•

Is shortness of breath a side effect of radiation?

Longer term effects Long term breathing problems are called chronic radiation pneumonitis. They cause a long term cough and sometimes breathlessness. Let your doctor or nurse know if you notice changes in your breathing any time after your radiotherapy.

What are the symptoms of radiation sickness?

Symptoms of radiation sickness may include:Weakness, fatigue, fainting, confusion.Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum.Bruising, skin burns, open sores on the skin, sloughing of skin.Dehydration.Diarrhea, bloody stool.Fever.Hair loss.Inflammation of exposed areas (redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding)More items…•

Are some people more sensitive to radiation?

Some people are more sensitive to harmful effects of radiation than others. There are a number of factors that influence an individual’s sensitivity to radiation. These factors include age, gender, other exposures and genetic factors. Age – In general, exposed children are more at risk than adults.

Can radiation cause respiratory problems?

Radiation pneumonitis happens to some people after they’ve received radiation treatments to their lungs or chest area. Between 5 and 15 percent of people receiving radiation treatment for lung cancer develop pneumonitis. However, anyone receiving radiation therapy to the chest can develop it.

How long is your immune system compromised after radiation?

It might take from 10 days to many months for the immune system to recover completely.

What are the three stages of radiation sickness?

Latent stage: In this stage, the patient looks and feels generally healthy for a few hours or even up to a few weeks. Manifest illness stage: In this stage the symptoms depend on the specific syndrome (see Table 1) and last from hours up to several months.

Why are rapidly dividing cells more sensitive to radiation?

Tissues that are made up of rapidly dividing cells are similarly radiation-sensitive. … Cells that are fully oxygenated tend to be more sensitive than those that are less well-oxygenated. The reasons for this will be discussed later in the lecture.