Prostate Cancer – Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Treatment

It is important you understand the side effects of certain treatments before applying such. This fact is true of prostate cancer radiation therapy. If you are not aware before hand, it is possible that the consequences would become devastating to you. So, you should know what to expect when it comes to side effects of any treatments. Remember, almost every kind of treatment or medications you can think of have side effects. The following paragraphs highlight some of the side effects going for radiation treatment.

 For a start, radiation therapy or treatment is a kind of treatment whereby high intense rays are applied on the cells of the prostate gland to destroy the cancer growth on them. The treatment may be recommended for treating early stage cancer of the prostate. A lot of men are diagnosed with this condition in America and it is the second highest killer of men with cancer related diseases. Lung cancer is still the leading killer among other cancer diseases.

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer are those who may be around 50years and above, those with family history of prostate cancer, those who are of African American origin, those exposed to certain toxic chemicals like Agent Orange, those that take more of certain diets that increase the growth of cancer cells, etc.

Radiation therapy can be applied internally or externally. While this treatment is very effective, it usually comes with certain side effects as described below:

Infertility – This is not what any man would want to keep up with. If extreme heat from the radiation affects the testicles, there is a high chance that the man may suffer from erectile dysfunction and infertility. If you are going for this treatment, then you should talk to your doctor about this.

Bowel problems – After the treatment on some men, it has been discovered that they often complaints of diarrhea, pain during defecating, bowel frequency, etc. This is caused by damage to the rectal area as a result of the radiation.

Incontinence – This is about one of the major side effects of radiation treatment. It occur when radiation causes damage to the urinary sphincter. As a result of this, the man will not be able to control passing of urine.

Fatigue – this is another common side effect of radiation therapy. The person would feel tired or get fatigued easily.

Other side effects include damages to tissues of bladder, rectum, and other vital organs exposed to the radiation.

The above are some of the side effects of radiation treatment. Measures can be taken to deal with these symptoms. However, some people may suffer from some them for the rest of their lives. In addition, surgical options may be required to correct some of these symptoms.

So, it is important you understand these side effects so you know what to expect during radiation therapy. Talk to your doctor for your realistic expectations. There are other side effects of radiation therapy that have not been mentioned in this article. Your doctor will provide more details for you.




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