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Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide

Treatment
Description
Prostate Cancer
Patient Profile
Prostate Cancer
Treatments
Prostate Cancer
Survival Rates
Prostate Cancer
Side Effects
Therapy News View Procedures Share Your Experience

Radiation
Therapy

Prostate Radiation Therapy

EBRT or electron beam radiation therapy aims external radiation at prostate cancer cells. Prostate Radiation
Therapy

EBRT or electron beam radiation therapy aims external radiation at prostate cancer cells.

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Using Radiation Therapy

IMRT and 3D-CRT are newer versions of EBRT and are non-invasive. Using Radiation Therapy

IMRT and 3D-CRT are newer versions of EBRT and are non-invasive.

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Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy generally requires 5 treatments per week over 6-8 weeks. Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy generally requires 5 treatments per week over 6-8 weeks.

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External Radiation Outcomes

Multiple long- and short-term studies indicate success rates over 85% especially when used with other therapies. External Radiation
Outcomes

Multiple long- and short-term studies indicate success rates over 85% especially when used with other therapies.

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Radiation
Side Effects

May include tiredness, diarrhea, skin irritation, upset stomach, frequent or burning urination, and proctitis. Radiation
Side Effects

May include tiredness, diarrhea, skin irritation, upset stomach, frequent or burning urination, and proctitis.

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Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Radiation Therapy.Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Radiation Therapy.

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Radiation Therapy
Videos

Click here to view Radiation Therapy procedures. Radiation Therapy
Videos

Click here to view Radiation Therapy procedures.

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Radiation Therapy
Experiences


Click here to share your Radiation Therapy experiences.Radiation Therapy
Experiencse

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Brachytherapy

Chemotherapy

Cryotherapy & Cryosurgery

Hormone
Therapy

Prostatectomy

Robotic Prostatectomy

Watchful
Waiting

Complementary
and
Alternative Medicine

High Intensity
Focused
Ultrasound (HIFU)

Emerging Technologies

 

External Beam Radiation Therapy Side Effects

The side effects of external beam radiation therapy tend to be less severe than the side effects of other prostate cancer treatments. Doctors will often use external radiation therapy for prostate cancer patients who want to avoid the risks of surgery. Generally, no pain is associated with external radiation therapy, and the associated side effects tend not to significantly interfere with daily life.

Incontinence as a Potential Side Effect of Radiation
Severe incontinence occurs in fewer than two percent of men who undergo external radiation therapy. Temporary incontinence or urinary leakage, frequency, burning during urination, and difficulty urinating or urinary retention are associated with external radiation therapy. Patients may also see blood in their urine, feces, or semen. These symptoms tend to go away on their own within a few weeks. Some patients may also experience acute urinary retention and may require a Foley catheter for a few weeks.

Impotence as a Potential Side Effect of Radiation
Impotence as a side effect varies greatly, from 25 to 50 percent in men who are under 60 years of age. Both impotence and incontinence can worsen over a period of continued treatment because healthy cells become less and less able to repair themselves. Penile shrinkage is also a risk associated with external radiation therapy. This shrinkage may also be called urethral stricture, because penile shrinkage is caused by a shrinking of the urethra. A physician, however, can “stretch” the urethra back to its normal size during an outpatient procedure. Proctitis and prostatitis are also risks of external radiation therapy. The beam may damage the rectum leading to blood or mucus in the stool.

Proctitis can be treated with laser surgery or suppositories and enemas. Prostatitis may occur in about a third of patients who receive external radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Prostatitis may cause the PSA level to rise; patients, however, should not be alarmed. A swollen prostate gland, not prostate cancer, is the cause of the rising PSA level.

Additional side effects of radiation therapy include itchiness or discomfort in the perineal skin (or the skin between the anus and scrotum); darkening of the skin in the anal area; abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and excessive gas and cramping; fatigue; and loss of pubic hair. If you’re concerned about any of the side effects aforementioned, or would simply like to discuss them in greater detail, speak with your primary care physician or radiation oncologist.

 
 
 

 
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