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Table 1 Risk and remedies of radiation therapy in various cancers

From: Recent advances in radiotherapy and its associated side effects in cancer—a review

S. no. Type of cancer Radiation dosage (Gy) Associated risks Potential Ayurvedic remedies
1 Breast cancer 45–50 Swelling and heaviness in the breast, fatigue, irritation of the skin in the targeted area, and discoloration or a bruised appearance. Problems in breastfeeding, lymphedema, acute radiation dermatitis, and a very rare cancer called as angiosarcoma Treatment with pentoxifylline and topical purified honey ointment rescued skin-related problems (Shoma et al., 2010)
2 Head and Neck Cancer 56–66 Trouble in swallowing, soreness, hair loss, tooth decay, xerostomia, oral mucositis, altered taste sensation, nutritional deficiency, poor sleep quality, and impaired speech function Thyme honey showed better treatment for xerostomia and mucositis (Charalambous et al., 2017).
3 Liver Cancer 70 Nausea, vomiting, gastritis, upper abdominal pain, gastric or duodenal bleeding, and fatigue Ginger and metoclopramide treatment are efficient to treat nausea and vomiting (Sontakke, Thawani, & Naik, 2003). Arogya-wardhani used to rescue abnormal liver functions (Antarkar, 1980)
4 Non-melanoma Skin Cancer 45 Erythema, dermatitis, and atrophy Turmeric and sandalwood containing cream can treat dermatitis (Palatty et al., 2014)
5 Thyroid Cancer 60 Swelling or pain of salivary gland, headache, vertigo, insomnia, vocal cord paralysis, fatigue, general malaise, foreign body sensation, body numbness, and urinary tract infection Inhalation of blended 1 ml lemon and 0.5 mL of ginger essential oils showed significant improvement in salivary gland secretion (Nakayama, Okizaki, & Takahashi, 2016)
6 Colorectal Cancer 40–74 Nausea, bowel incontinence or stool leakage, fatigue, tiredness, rectal irritation, skin irritation, bladder irritation along with burning sensation or pain while urinating, diarrhea, blood in stool, vaginal irritation in women, and erection issues in men are seen Navjeevan Rasayana, Tamra Bhasma, Swarna Bhasma, Hirak Bhasma, Agni Rasayana, Sutendra Rasayana, and Pranwallabhrasayana are improved QoL of colon cancer (Bendale et al., 2015)
7 Prostate Cancer 70.2 Radiation proctitis, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, hematochezia, radiation cystitis, impotence, fatigue, lymphedema, and erection problems Vicenin 2 having chemo-radioprotective effect in prostate cancer cells (Malvika, Satyapal, Lal, & Mita, 2016)
8 Lung Cancer 60 Shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, shoulder stiffness, cough, fever, breast or nipple soreness, and radiation pneumonitis Navjeevan Rasayana rescued laryngeal functions like voice, breathing, and swallowing (Bendale, Bendale, Birari-Gawande, Kadam, & Gund, 2015)
9 Endometrial Cancer 46 Bowel incontinence, rectal bleeding, bladder irritation, diarrhea, changes in menstruation, vaginal itching, burning, dryness, and infertility Ficus hispida is used as an anti-inflammatory and also treat hemorrhage (Ali & Chaudhary, 2011)
10 Ovarian Cancer 22.5–33 Radiation cystitis, bowel discomfort, and vaginal irritation Sandalwood oil and lupeol are used to treat genitourinary tract infection and cystitis (Kuvar, Lambole, Shah, Shah, & Shah, 2013; Misra & Dey, 2013)