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Radiation Therapy

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Jennifer, Addison, Avery and Dr. Caudrelier for agreeing to be our models and Noah Bright for his photography. A very special thank you to the following staff at the Ottawa General Hospital, Jayne Bélanger, Pat Lacasse, Sandra Hamilton, Dr. Grimard, Karen Lee, Michelle Thomas, Urvashi Gore and Kelly Tynkkynen. A very special thanks to Kimberly Oswick’s family whose generous donation made the design and development of this book possible.

Note to Parents

Children naturally look to their parents to support and guide them through stressful times. This is especially true when a child faces a new medical treatment. This book is designed to help children understand what to expect during radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy is a targeted therapy where high energy beams are used to damage cancer cells and stop them from dividing and growing. Depending on your child’s cancer diagnosis, radiation therapy is at times solely used and sometimes used in conjunction with other treatment options. The radiation oncology team will discuss the number of treatments needed as well as the schedule of these treatments.

This book will help the most if you read it with your child. While reading about another child’s experience with radiation therapy, your child will learn about what to expect during as well as after radiation treatments. After reading the story, encourage your child to talk about their own feelings and experiences too. By being open, honest and keeping a positive attitude, you can help your child cope well with radiation therapy.  Click the image to download the pdf:

Information for parents

Side Effects

Every patient will react differently to radiation therapy so this next section will highlight potential side effects that may occur. It’s important to monitor for side effects and discuss them with your radiation health care team as there are ways to minimize them and help your child through their treatments. This may be medications to help decrease the severity of the side effects or creams to care for their skin. Side effects can occur during, immediately after and sometimes can last months to years after the radiation treatments are complete. This is dependent on the dose of radiation, the area receiving radiation (organs involved), radiation schedule and your child’s overall health. 

Please open the PDF for more details on side effects and to see map.

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