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Radiation treatment uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. The radiation may come from outside the body or from radioactive materials placed into or near the tumor. Radiation is rarely, if ever, used in the United States as the main treatment for ovarian cancer. It is sometimes used to treat areas of cancer spread.

Radiation treatment can have side effects.

  • Skin changes, where the skin in the area treated often turns red and becomes sore. It may even blister and peel.
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

These improve after radiation is stopped. Be sure to ask the doctor about any side effects you might have. Often there are ways to help.

More information on radiation therapy can be found in the radiation section of our website, or in our document Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families.

Last Medical Review: 08/08/2014
Last Revised: 02/03/2016