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Treating prostate cancer

Treating Prostate Cancer

In this video using VERT, we give an example of the Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or IMRT technique for prostate cancer.

Side effects

You may experience some side effects during your treatment. Urinary side effects can include having to empty your bladder more often than usual – either during the day or at night, or both.

  • These are called increased frequency and increased nocturia. You may also experience some pain when urinating (dysuria).
  • If you pass blood in your urine (haematuria), or if you are unable to pass urine (obstruction), you must notify your expert treatment team immediately.
  • Rectal side-effects can include bleeding when using the toilet, a feeling of fullness in the rectum or a feeling that you may need to empty your rectum very regularly, even though this is not the case (tenesmus).
  • You may also experience diarrhoea or constipation. All of these side-effects can be effectively managed by your expert treatment team.
  • As the penile bulb is receiving some dose, you may experience some sexual dysfunction, particularly erectile dysfunction. Again, this is treatable using medication that can be prescribed by your radiation oncologist.

It is understandable that patients may be embarrassed by some or all of these side effects and may be reluctant to discuss them with their expert treatment team. However, these side effects are perfectly normal and expected by the team who are trained to manage them.

Your quality of life while receiving radiation therapy is of the utmost importance to your treatment team and assisting you in managing these side effects is an important part of your care.
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An Introduction to Radiation Oncology: From Diagnosis to Survivorship

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