Friday, August 19, 2022

How Long Do Side Effects Last After Prostate Radiation

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Side Effects And How To Manage Them

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Radiation?

Your radiation doctors plan treatments very carefully to lessen side effects. While some patients have little or no side effects from radiation therapy, others feel some discomfort. Side effects are usually short-term and can be treated. No matter what type of therapy you receive, our doctors and nurses are skilled in helping to manage side effects.

Side effects most often start by the second or third week of treatment. They can last up to several weeks after your final radiation treatment. Many people who get radiation have some fatigue and skin reactions. Based on the area of your body being treated, you may also have some:

  • Hair loss

Most side effects go away within 12 months after you have finished radiation therapy.

Coping With Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy

Everyoneâs experience with radiation therapy is different. Side effects vary from person to person, even when given the same type of treatment. Before your treatment, ask your health care team which physical side effects are possible and what to watch for. There can also be emotional side effects, and seeking out mental health support to help with anxiety or stress is important. Ask your health care team about ways to take care of yourself during the treatment period, including getting enough rest, eating well, and staying hydrated. Ask whether there are any restrictions on your regular exercise schedule or other physical activities.

And, continue talking with the team throughout your treatment. Always tell your health care team when side effects first appear, worsen, or continue despite treatment. That will allow your health care team to provide ways to help you feel better during and after treatment.

Frequent Urination Burning With Urination And Difficulty Urinating

These are the most common complaints. Occasionally the urinary stream will weaken. Generally these symptoms are managed with medications to help the bladder function better or eliminate burning. Rarely, your doctor may order a urine test. Symptoms will resolve after the end of treatment. Contact your doctor if you see blood in your urine or if you are unable to urinate.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of External Beam Radiotherapy For Early Prostate Cancer

You may want to think about the advantages and disadvantages of external beam radiotherapy when deciding about treatment.

Radiotherapy and radical prostatectomy are both treatments that may cure early prostate cancer. They are equally effective in treating the cancer.

To choose the treatment that is best for you, it can help to look at the different advantages and disadvantages of each one. You can then make your decision in partnership with your doctor.

Radiation Therapy: What It Is

Does Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer Cause Hair Loss ...

This therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a cancer treatment procedure that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancerous cells and shrink the tumor as well. At low doses, this procedure is used as an x-ray.

This therapy can be internal or external or both form. For external beam, a machine that is outside your body aims at the cancerous cells. For internal therapy, the radiations are placed inside your body inside or near the cancer.

For radiotherapy for prostate cancer, high-energy rays are used to kill the cancer cells. This treatment procedure does not cause pain. However, it may result in various side effects that might cause pain and make you feel uncomfortable. The good thing is that there are numerous ways to manage radiotherapy side effects with the help of your radiation oncologist.

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Radiation Therapy And Fertility

You must use contraception during your treatment if youre sexually active and you or your partner could get pregnant. You should not conceive a child while youre getting radiation therapy to your pelvis and for 1 to 2 years after your treatment is finished. For more information, read the section Sexual health in this resource.

If you would like to have children after your radiation therapy, speak with your doctor before you begin your treatment.

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Genitourinary Toxicity With Intensity

Intensity-modulated radiotherapy has been shown to deliver higher doses to the target area while minimizing complications. IMRT is increasingly used for the treatment of prostate cancer doses of 81 Gy have been delivered. The complication rate with IMRT is lower than that with 3-dimensional conformal beam therapy, although not all studies show a significant difference.

The frequency of toxicity with IMRT versus the frequency with 3D conformal radiotherapy is as follows.

  • Grade 2: IMRT, 17-36% 3D conformal radiotherapy, 42-60%
  • Grade 3: IMRT, 0.3-0.5% 3D conformal radiotherapy, 1-2%

After treatment for prostate cancer, rectal complications are much lower with conformal beam therapy than with 4-box, small-field therapy however, the incidence of bladder complications is unchanged, probably because of the proximity of the bladder neck and unavoidable exposure to the urethra.

IMRT has also demonstrated a significant improvement in rectal complications compared with 3D conformal radiation therapy. Fewer grade 2 bladder complications occur with IMRT, but the rates of grade 3 complications are similar. GI symptoms can be further reduced by using fiducial markerbased position verification in patients with prostate cancer.

A multicenter, phase II study conducted by Kim et al found that in patients with rectal cancer, preoperative chemoradiation with cetuximab, irinotecan, and capecitabine was active and well tolerated.

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Prostate Seed Brachytherapy Or High Dose Rate Radiation

SHORT TERM

Immediately after the procedure, patients may have some perineal discomfort and even some bruising for a few days. Patients often experience increased urinary frequency, urgency, weak stream and nighttime urination. These effects are at their greatest for 4-6 weeks after brachytherapy and will dissipate over the following 3-6 months.

LONG TERM

Late effects are much less common than early effects, but can be more serious and long lasting. Urinary stricture or incontinence are rare, but can occur particularly in patients who have significant urinary problems prior to treatment. Loss of potency can occur and is directly related to the patients age and erectile function prior to treatment. Rectal inflammation, called proctitis, can occur, but infrequently becomes serious enough to require treatment.

R. Alex Hsi, MD, Radiation Oncologist describes a breakthrough method to reduce side effects when prostate cancer is treated with radiation.

Adt Or Hormone Therapy

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SIDE EFFECTS

Hormone therapy is also called androgen deprivation therapy . This treatment can cause hot flashes, reduced sexual desire, impotence, weight gain, breast enlargement, loss of muscle, fatigue, osteoporosis, or anemia.

Edward Weber, M.D. Medical Oncologist, describes the side effects of cardiac complications when receiving Androgen Deprivation Therapy, ADT, also known as Hormone Therapy, for treatment of Prostate Cancer. ADT is used to reduce the production of testosterone needed for the growth of prostate cancer cells. But ADT can have cardiac complications, especially on men with a history of heart disease.

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The Bottom Line: Expert Wound Care For Radiation Wounds

As a patient of radiation therapy, you need ongoing and personalized wound care to help you overcome radiation injuries and side effects. You deserve to get that help in the comfortable, refreshing, and attractive environment offered by R3 Wound Care and Hyperbarics.

With eight convenient locations throughout Texas, R3 Wound Care provides advanced therapies like HBOT previously only available at large medical institutions. Every HBOT treatment at R3 occurs in a clear acrylic chamber where you relax, recline, and enjoy a good book or movie for a few hours.

Visit the R3 location closest to you today to learn more about this natural alternative healing treatment and its potential to finally liberate you from your painful radiation side effects.

Does Radiation Affect The Emotions

Nearly all patients who receive treatment for cancer feel some degree of emotional upset. “It’s not unusual to feel depressed, afraid, angry, frustrated, alone or helpless,” says Dr. Wilson. “Radiation therapy may affect the emotions indirectly through fatigue or changes in hormone balance, but the treatment itself is not a direct cause of mental distress.”

Many patients help themselves by talking about their feelings with a close friend, family member, chaplain, nurse, social worker or psychologist with whom they feel at ease. You may want to ask your doctor or nurse about meditation or relaxation exercises that could help you unwind and feel better. American Cancer Society programs can provide support. Groups such as the United Ostomy Association and the Lost Chord Club offer opportunities to meet with others who share the same problems and concerns. Some medical centers have formed peer support groups so that patients can meet to discuss their feelings and inspire each other.

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Where To Get Treatment For Urinary Problems After Radiation Therapy In Nyc

At New York Urology Specialists, we offer specialized treatment for enlarged prostate for men. Same-day virtual video appointments and in-person appointments are available.

Call/text today: or make an appointment online.

We perform a cystoscopy, urodynamic testing, prostate and bladder ultrasound in our office. We offer Urolift procedure, Rezum water-vapor procedure in our office, and laser enucleation of the prostate in a hospital setting. We treat urinary and erection problems. We offer confidential appointments.

Our appointment costs are affordable with or without insurance. We offer free insurance verification.

How Does Radiotherapy Work

Intensity

Radiotherapy aims to destroy prostate cancer cells without causing too much damage to healthy cells. External beam radiotherapy is high-energy X-ray beams targeted at the prostate from outside the body. These X-ray beams damage the cancer cells and stop them from growing and spreading to other parts of the body . Radiotherapy permanently damages and kills the cancer cells, but healthy cells can repair themselves and recover more easily.

Radiotherapy treats the whole prostate. It aims to treat all the cancer cells, including any that have spread to the area just outside the prostate. The treatment itself is painless but it can cause side effects that may cause you problems.

You may have radiotherapy to a wider area, including the nearby lymph nodes, if there is a risk that the cancer has spread there. Lymph nodes are part of your immune system and are found throughout your body. The lymph nodes in your pelvic area are a common place for prostate cancer to spread to. If you do have radiotherapy to a wider area, you will be more likely to get side effects.

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What To Expect After Radiationtreatment For Prostate Cancer

After receiving brachytherapy, if you receive pellets that give off radiation overthe span of a couple months, you will need a doctors note to travel,as some detection systems will be alerted. It is also recommended to avoiddirect contact with pregnant women and small children, even though theradiation does not travel far from the prostate.

Some patients treated with EBRT can experience lymphedema when a buildup of fluidover time in the legs or genital region causes pain and swelling. Some casesmay not go away over time, but most are treated with physical therapy. Theradiation causes damage to the lymph nodes, blocking fluid from returning tothe heart.

Both types of radiation have several shared side effects associated with the treatmentincluding:

Possible Risks And Side Effects Of Brachytherapy

Radiation precautions: If you get permanent brachytherapy, the seeds will give off small amounts of radiation for several weeks or months. Even though the radiation doesnt travel far, your doctor may advise you to stay away from pregnant women and small children during this time. If you plan on traveling, you might want to get a doctors note regarding your treatment, as low levels of radiation can sometimes be picked up by detection systems at airports.

There’s also a small risk that some of the seeds might move . You may be asked to strain your urine for the first week or so to catch any seeds that might come out. You may be asked to take other precautions as well, such as wearing a condom during sex. Be sure to follow any instructions your doctor gives you. There have also been reports of the seeds moving through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. As far as doctors can tell, this is uncommon and doesnt seem to cause any ill effects.

These precautions arent needed after HDR brachytherapy, because the radiation doesnt stay in the body after treatment.

Bowel problems: Brachytherapy can sometimes irritate the rectum and cause a condition called radiation proctitis. Bowel problems such as rectal pain, burning, and/or diarrhea can occur, but serious long-term problems are uncommon.

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What Is 3d Conformal Radiation Therapy

Itâs a procedure that uses a computer to make a three-dimensional picture of your tumor. It helps your treatment team deliver the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the damage to normal tissue.

3D conformal radiation therapy uses CT-based treatment combined with three-dimensional images of a prostate tumor. CT is short for computed tomography, which uses X-rays to produce detailed pictures inside the body.

So far, this technique has worked well for localized tumors such as prostate cancer limited to the prostate gland.

How Long Do Side Effects Last

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer | Prostate Cancer Staging Guide

Remember that the type of radiation side effects you might have depends on the prescribed dose and schedule. Most side effects go away within a few months of ending treatment. Some side effects may continue after treatment ends because it takes time for the healthy cells to recover from radiation.

Side effects might limit your ability to do some things. What you can do will depend on how you feel. Some patients are able to go to work or enjoy leisure activities while they get radiation therapy. Others find they need more rest than usual and cant do as much. If you have side effects that are bothersome and affecting your daily activities or health, the doctor may stop your treatments for a while, change the schedule, or change the type of treatment youre getting. Tell your cancer care team about any side affects you notice so they can help you with them.

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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Chest

Radiation treatment to the chest may cause side effects such as:

  • Sore throat

Radiation can also cause other problems in the heart or lungs.

Heart complications

Getting radiation to the middle portion of the chest can raise your risk of heart disease. This risk increases with higher radiation doses and larger treatment areas in this part of your body. Radiation can also cause hardening of the arteries , heart valve damage, or irregular heartbeats.

Radiation pneumonitis

Radiation pneumonitis is inflammation of the lungs that can be caused by radiation treatment to the chest . It may occur about 3 to 6 months after getting radiation therapy. Its more likely if you have other lung diseases, like emphysema . Common symptoms of radiation pneumonitis include:

  • Shortness of breath that usually gets worse with exercise
  • Chest pain, which is often worse when taking in a deep breath
  • Cough
  • Weakness

Sometimes there are no symptoms, and radiation pneumonitis is found on a chest x-ray.

Symptoms often go away on their own, but if treatment is needed, it is based on trying to decrease the inflammation. Steroids, like prednisone, are usually used. With treatment, most people recover without any lasting effects. But if it persists, it can lead to pulmonary fibrosis . When this happens, the lungs can no longer fully inflate and take in air.

Be sure you understand what to look for, and tell your cancer care team if you notice any of these side effects.

If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Abdomen

If you are getting radiation to your stomach or some part of the abdomen , you may have side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Eating or avoiding certain foods can help with some of these problems, so diet planning is an important part of radiation treatment of the stomach or abdomen. Ask your cancer care team about what you can expect, and what medicines you should take to help relieve these problems. Check with your cancer care team about any home remedies or over-the-counter drugs youre thinking about using.

These problems should get better when treatment is over.

Managing nausea

Some people feel queasy for a few hours right after radiation therapy. If you have this problem, try not eating for a couple of hours before and after your treatment. You may handle the treatment better on an empty stomach. If the problem doesnt go away, ask your cancer care team about medicines to help prevent and treat nausea. Be sure to take the medicine exactly as you are told to do.

If you notice nausea before your treatment, try eating a bland snack, like toast or crackers, and try to relax as much as possible. See Nausea and Vomiting to get tips to help an upset stomach and learn more about how to manage these side effects.

Managing diarrhea

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Side Effects Of Prostate Radiation

Side effects of prostate radiation is an important topic, which many doctors and their patients have to discuss before proceeding to the procedure further on. In most cases, radiation treatment for prostate cancer has the same side effects as brachytherapy . But its important to keep in mind that every person will have different side effects from the same procedure and health in general.

Are There New Techniques That Reduce The Chance Of Becoming Incontinent

Does Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer Cause Hair Loss ...

When removingthe prostate, surgeons try to save as much of the area around the bladder and the sphincter muscles around the urethra as possible, thus limiting damage to the sphincter. Doctors have also fine-tuned the process of placing radioactive seed implants, using sophisticated computer projections that allow the seeds to destroy the prostate while limiting damage to the bladder.

Still, at this point, any man who is undergoing radiation or surgery to treat prostate cancer should expect to develop some problems with urinary control. With newer techniques, some men will have only temporary problems controlling their urine, and many will regain full control of their bladder in time.

Continued

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