Cancer Home > Pheochromocytoma Treatment
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. When used to treat a pheochromocytoma, the radiation is administered from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy).
(Click Pheochromocytoma Treatment by Stage for more information about treatment options for specific stages of this condition.)
Because the treatments used for pheochromocytoma may damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Specific side effects depend on many factors, including the type and extent of the pheochromocytoma treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may even change from one treatment session to the next.
Before treatment for pheochromocytoma starts, healthcare providers should explain possible side effects that may occur and suggest ways to manage them.
It is important to eat well during and after pheochromocytoma treatment. The patient needs the right amount of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eating well may help the patient feel better and have more energy.
Eating well can be hard. Sometimes, especially during or soon after treatment, a person may not feel like eating. He or she may be uncomfortable or tired and may find that foods do not taste as good as they used to.
The patient also may experience side effects of treatment such as poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. A registered dietitian can suggest ways to deal with these problems.
Before starting treatment for pheochromocytoma, patients may want to consider taking part in a pheochromocytoma clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a pheochromocytoma research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments. When clinical trials show that a new pheochromocytoma treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.