Radiotherapy Late Effects Service

The Radiotherapy Late Effects service at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital aims to help people who experience late side effects following radiotherapy treatment.  These late effects can develop months, years, or even decades after undergoing radiotherapy.  They can be minor, but some can be more difficult to live with.

What are late effects?

Radiotherapy late effects are symptoms that can happen any time from 6 months to many years after your radiotherapy treatment ended. Sometimes it might be a side effect that you had during treatment that never went away.

Late effects from radiotherapy do vary between people and depend on which part of the body you had treated.

Possible late effects can include (depending on the area you had treated):

  • Tiredness
  • Pain
  • Lymphoedema (swelling that usually affects an arm or a leg)
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Speech/swallowing concerns, dry mouth, or thick saliva
  • Hormone problems
  • Skin changes
  • Psychological / emotional issues
  • Concerns about intimacy and sexual wellbeing

These are just some examples not a comprehensive list. Any concern is valid and options to help will be discussed.

What happens at the Radiotherapy Late Effects appointment?

The service is run by a Therapeutic Radiographer with knowledge and training on how best to support people with Late Effects.

The Radiotherapy Late Effects service aims to provide emotional and physical support to people living with long term effects because of their radiotherapy treatment. The service is patient-led, you will be given the opportunity to share your concerns and a care plan will be created jointly between you and the Therapeutic Radiographer.

The service expects to identify late effects and offer a range of strategies to reduce the effect they have on you. These may include information and self-management, care plans, medication and referral to other health care professionals or suggestions of local and national support networks and charities.

How to access this service?

If you feel that you are experiencing late effects please ask your GP, Oncology Doctor, or Cancer Nurse Specialist to refer you to the Radiotherapy Late Effects Service at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Questions can be directed to:

Useful links and resources: