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Predicting Radiotherapy-Related Clinical Toxicities in Cancer: A Literature Review

Claire O'Gorman
Wojciech Sasiadek
Suzanne Denieffe
Martina Gooney
CJON 2014, 18(3), E37-E44 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.E37-E44

Assessment of patients receiving radiotherapy for cancer is essential, with the ability to identify those who may be more likely to experience radiotherapy-related side effects noted as an important issue for nurses. Body mass, age, and radiation dose may be predictive factors for the development of such side effects. This review considers these factors and how nurses can use this evidence to inform their care, with results indicating that the dose of radiation, the site treated, and body mass index are predictive of toxicities that may develop. Increased awareness of these predictive factors will aid nurses in identifying patients at greater risk of developing radiation-related side effects. This will assist in guiding nursing interventions, as well as enabling the individualization of patient education, by placing greater emphasis on preventive measures for patients who are more vulnerable to the development of radiation-related toxicities.

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