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Brain radiotherapy side effects

Brain radiotherapy can cause side effects such as swelling in the brain, sickness and hair loss. Find out how to cope with these side effects. 

Radiotherapy to the brain can also cause some general side effects, such as sore skin. 


Radiotherapy to the brain can make you feel very tired during and after treatment. Find out about some of the things you can do that might help.

Hair loss

Radiotherapy to the brain will cause some hair loss. Your hair might grow back but sometimes it doesn't. Your doctor will discuss this with you. Find out about head coverings and wigs.

Feeling sick

Feeling sick is a common side effect of radiotherapy to the brain. This is because radiotherapy to the brain can cause swelling, which can make you feel sick. You can take medicines to help with this. 

Worsening symptoms

Brain tumours can cause a range of symptoms, such as headaches and sickness. Having radiotherapy can sometimes make these symptoms worse to begin with. 

Last reviewed: 
25 Jan 2019

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