Side effects of Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) are usually mild. You may have pain in your abdomen or nausea for 1-2 days. You also may have a raised temperature, chills or a feeling of pressure in the abdomen. These side effects are usually gone in a few days. Tiredness and appetite loss are the most common side effects and can last for up to 6 weeks.
You may be given medication for a month after treatment to reduce gastritis (stomach upset) and peptic ulceration (stomach ulcers).
Since you will have received a radioactive treatment, there are some simple precautions that need to be taken during the first 24 hours following the SIRT procedure. These precautions
- thorough washing of your hands after going to the toilet;
- cleaning up any spills of body fluids such as blood, urine, or stools and disposing of them in the toilet.
You will be provided with further information on these precautions by your treatment team.
All radiation will have dissipated (disappeared) within 4 weeks.
As with any other treatment options used to extend the survival of patients with cancer, SIRT can cause severe side effects which in rare cases can lead to death. The risk of these more serious side effects from SIRT is small.
Delivery of microspheres to other gastrointestinal structures such as the stomach, small intestine, pancreas or other organs can cause ulceration and inflammation which can be troublesome and difficult to treat.
Delivery of microspheres to other gastrointestinal structures such as the stomach can cause ulceration and inflammation which can be troublesome and difficult to treat.
If normal liver tissue receives too high a dose of radiation, the normal liver may be severely or even fatally damaged. This is called radiation hepatitis.
If too many microspheres pass to the lungs they can cause serious damage (radiation pneumonitis).
You will be treated by a doctor who is specially trained to deliver SIRT and to minimize the risk of these things happening. However the risk cannot be eliminated.
Everyone is unique and it is not possible to predict what side effects will occur. It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risk of treatment with your doctor so you will have realistic expectations of your treatment.