Emotional effects

It is normal to feel tired and upset at some points during radiotherapy. Or you might feel anxious. Many people having radiotherapy share these feelings.

You might feel low or depressed a couple of weeks after your treatment has finished. This can be because your side effects including tiredness might be at their worst. 

It can also be difficult to adjust to not seeing health care professionals every day and waiting for your follow up. This can make you feel isolated. But remember that you can still contact the radiotherapy department or your specialist nurse if you have any problems. 

Where to get help

We all have our own ways of managing difficulties.

Some people have a close network of family and friends to support them. Others would rather get help from people who aren't involved in their illness. 

There is help available if you need it. You can ask at your treatment hospital about the help in your area.

There might be local support groups for people having treatment for the same type of cancer. The hospital may provide counselling or your GP can refer you to a local counsellor.

Find local cancer information and support

The NHS website helps you to find local cancer information and support in England.

You can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses for general information and support on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Improving supportive and palliative care for adults with cancer
    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2004

  • Coping attitudes of cancer patients and their caregivers and quality of life of caregivers 
    U Aydogan and others
    Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 2016. Vol 22, Issue 2, Pages 150-156. 

  • Cancer treatment effects on cognition and depression: The moderating role of physical activity 
    M Bedellion and others 
    Breast, 2019. Vol 16, Issue 44, Pages 73-80. 

  • Prevalence of depression in patients with cancer
    M Massie 
    Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2004.

Last reviewed: 
09 Nov 2020
Next review due: 
09 Nov 2023

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