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Side Effect Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer

What Is A Radiation Oncologist

Radiation Therapy Side Effects for Prostate Cancer Patients

If a patient is undergoing radiation, the cancer treatment plan may be managed by a radiation oncologist who carefully monitors the persons overall health and well-being through the process.

With advanced cancer, a patient may also be referred to a medical oncologist. This specialized doctor uses medicines such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy to treat cancers. Its common for several medical specialists to work together on a treatment plantheyre known as a cancer care team.

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.

Your Role On Your Radiation Therapy Team

Youll have a team of healthcare providers working together to care for you. Youre part of that team, and your role includes:

  • Getting to your appointments on time.
  • Asking questions and talking about your concerns.
  • Telling someone on your radiation therapy team when you have side effects.
  • Telling someone on your radiation therapy team if youre in pain.
  • Caring for yourself at home by:
  • Quitting smoking, if you smoke. If you want to quit, call our Tobacco Treatment Program at .
  • Caring for your skin as instructed.
  • Drinking liquids as instructed.

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How Can I Reduce Skin Reactions

  • Gently cleanse the treated area using lukewarm water and a mild soap such as Ivory, Dove, Neutrogena, Basis, Castile, or Aveeno Oatmeal Soap. Donât rub. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel or use a hair dryer on a cool setting.
  • Try not to scratch or rub the treated area.
  • Donât put any ointment, cream, lotion, or powder on the treated area unless your radiation oncologist or nurse has prescribed it.
  • Donât wear tight-fitting clothing or clothes made from harsh fabrics like wool or corduroy. These fabrics can irritate the skin. Instead, choose clothes made from natural fibers like cotton.
  • Donât apply medical tape or bandages to the treated area.
  • Donât expose the treated area to extreme heat or cold. Avoid using an electric heating pad, hot water bottle, or ice pack.
  • Donât expose the treated area to direct sunlight. That could intensify your skin reaction and lead to a severe sunburn. Choose a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Protect the treated area from direct sunlight even after your course of treatment is over.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Or Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy

Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects Comparison

This type of therapy is used to deliver high doses of radiation to a precise area in the prostate using specialized techniques not achievable by standard conventional radiation therapy. This allows the total dose of radiation to be given in a shorter amount of time, usually 4 -5 treatments over 1 2 weeks rather than the several weeks used for other types of external radiation therapy.

The radiation beam needs to be extremely accurate in order to limit the side effects on healthy tissue. During treatment, the body immobilization used is often more restrictive than with IMRT due to the high doses of radiation. Fiducials, or internal prostate markers, are often used in this type of treatment.

Cyberknife and Truebeam are two types of LINACs used for SBRT treatment of prostate cancer.

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Active Surveillance And Watchful Waiting

If prostate cancer is in an early stage, is growing slowly, and treating the cancer would cause more problems than the disease itself, a doctor may recommend active surveillance or watchful waiting.

Active surveillance. Prostate cancer treatments may seriously affect a personâs quality of life. These treatments can cause side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, which is when someone is unable to get and maintain an erection, and incontinence, which is when a person cannot control their urine flow or bowel function. In addition, many prostate cancers grow slowly and cause no symptoms or problems. For this reason, many people may consider delaying cancer treatment rather than starting treatment right away. This is called active surveillance. During active surveillance, the cancer is closely monitored for signs that it is worsening. If the cancer is found to be worsening, treatment will begin.

ASCO encourages the following testing schedule for active surveillance:

  • A PSA test every 3 to 6 months

  • A DRE at least once every year

  • Another prostate biopsy within 6 to 12 months, then a biopsy at least every 2 to 5 years

Treatment should begin if the results of the tests done during active surveillance show signs of the cancer becoming more aggressive or spreading, if the cancer causes pain, or if the cancer blocks the urinary tract.

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Finding A Spaceoar Hydrogel Doctor Near You Is Simple

Get started by entering your ZIP code below and click submit. You will be redirected to a map view showing you the nearest doctors to your location. *Please note, there may be other doctors in your area who treat prostate cancer not listed here.

  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/watchful-waiting.html. Accessed October 1, 2020.
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/surgery.html. Accessed October 1, 2020.
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/treating/radiation-therapy.html. Accessed October 1, 2020.
  • Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Continued benefit to rectal separation for prostate radiation therapy: Final results of a phase III trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1 97:976-85.
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    Coping With The Side Effects

    The side effects of both surgery and radiation can vary from mild to more severe and potentially significantly impact someones life.

    The side effects of urinary and bowel problems can be distressing. There are ways to help manage these, such as with pelvic floor exercise, bladder training, and incontinence products. Other coping strategies include:

    • Urinating every few hours
    • Limiting caffeine intake
    • Talking to your healthcare team about any medications or other interventions that may be helpful

    Sexual dysfunction related to prostate cancer treatment can also be an unwelcome side effect. Helpful ways to cope with this can include:

    • Having open communication with your partner
    • Prioritizing activities for the day and taking breaks as needed

    External Beam Radiation Therapy

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

    In this type of therapy, a machine outside the body is used to focus the beams of radiation on the prostate gland. It is used to treat early stages of cancer and helps to relieve you from symptoms such as pain.

    Before the procedure, you will undergo simulation, which is a planning session. During this session, the radiation team takes measurements to find the correct angles for aiming the beams and the proper dosage.There are various types of EBRT namely:

    • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
    • Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
    • Stereotactic body radiation therapy
    • Proton beam radiation therapy

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    Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

    IMRT, an advanced form of 3D-CRT therapy, is the most common type of external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. It uses a computer-driven machine that moves around the patient as it delivers radiation. Along with shaping the beams and aiming them at the prostate from several angles, the intensity of the beams can be adjusted to limit the doses of radiation reaching nearby normal tissues. This lets doctors deliver an even higher radiation dose to the cancer.

    Some newer radiation machines have imaging scanners built into them. This advance, known as image guided radiation therapy , lets the doctor take pictures of the prostate just before giving the radiation to make minor adjustments in aiming. This appears to help deliver the radiation even more precisely and results in fewer side effects.

    A variation of IMRT is called volumetric modulated arc therapy . It uses a machine that delivers radiation quickly as it rotates once around the body. This allows each treatment to be given over just a few minutes. Although this can be more convenient for the patient, it hasnt yet been shown to be more effective than regular IMRT.

    Will I Be Able To Have Sex During And After Imrt

    Most men who get IMRT for their prostate cancer worry about not being able to have intercourse . Most men do not have a problem with erections or intercourse during or right after IMRT.

    Over time, you may find that you are not having as many erections as you used to. This is because the radiation can harm the nerves near your prostate that help you have erections. If this happens, talk to your doctor or health care team about things you can do to deal with this. If you could not get an erection before IMRT, this will not get better after IMRT.

    You may find that during treatment that your desire to have sex is lower. This is probably caused more by the stress of you having cancer or fatigue than your treatment. Once the treatment ends and you get better, your sexual desire will probably return.

    If you have questions or concerns about having sex during and after your prostate cancer treatment, talk to your doctor or health care team.

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    Surgery Vs Radiation For Prostate Cancer: Uses Benefits Side Effects

    Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer other than skin cancer in people who have a prostate . Depending upon the stage of the cancer, different treatment options are available. These treatment options include:

    This article will review how surgery and radiation are used to treat prostate cancer. Both can be very effective forms of treatment in men with the disease. Although they may have the same goals of therapy, there are differences between these treatments.

    Be sure to see your healthcare provider for the diagnosis, so you can receive the best treatment for you.

    The Good Brigade / Getty Images

    When Is Radiation Therapy Given

    External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

    Radiation therapy may be used:

    • for localised or locally advanced prostate cancer it has similar rates of success to surgery in controlling prostate cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes
    • if you are not well enough for surgery or are older
    • after a prostatectomy for locally advanced disease, if there are signs of cancer left behind or the cancer has returned where the prostate used to be
    • for prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

    There are two main ways of delivering radiation therapy: from outside the body or inside the body . You may have one of these or a combination of both.

    In intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer, radiation therapy is often combined with androgen deprivation therapy .

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    Side Effects Of Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy

    Radiotherapy to the prostate can cause some side effects, such as loose or watery poo and passing urine more often.

    Side effects tend to start a week or 2 after the radiotherapy begins. They gradually get worse during the treatment and for a couple of weeks after the treatment ends. But they usually begin to improve after around 2 weeks or so after treatment finishes

    Everyone is different and the side effects vary from person to person. You may not have all of the effects mentioned.

    Inflammation Of The Back Passage

    Inflammation of the back passage is a long term side effect. Proctitis can cause a feeling of wanting to strain whether or not you actually need to pass a bowel movement. You might also have bleeding from your back passage or a slimy mucous discharge.

    Bleeding is usually slight but can be more severe for some people. Talk to your radiographer or nurse if you have proctitis. They might suggest you use treatments such as steroid suppositories for a short time. This might reduce the inflammation.

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    Treatment Areas And Possible Side Effects

    Part of the Body Being Treated Possible Side Effects

    Healthy cells that are damaged during radiation treatment usually recover within a few months after treatment is over. But sometimes people may have side effects that do not improve. Other side effects may show up months or years after radiation therapy is over. These are called late effects. Whether you might have late effects, and what they might be, depends on the part of your body that was treated, other cancer treatments youve had, genetics, and other factors, such as smoking.Ask your doctor or nurse which late effects you should watch for. See the section on Late Effects to learn more.

    • Posted:May 1, 2018

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    Five Visits Few Side Effects

    What are the side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer? (Colleen Lawton, MD)

    Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide.1

    Today, MRIdian is changing the paradigm for prostate cancer treatment and may offer patients the ability to treat their cancer with just five fractions and fewer side effects.

    Prostate patients treated with MRIdian SBRT have no early grade 3 GI/GU toxicity and a 60 to 90 percent lower grade 2 GI/GU toxicity, as compared to standard LINAC treatments, without the need for fiducials or spacers.2

    Better for patients. Better for clinicians. Learn more about MRIdian today.

    Learn how MRIdian works for prostate

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    Radiation Therapy In Advanced Disease:

    Some forms of radiation therapy, like external radiation therapy and radiopharmaceuticals, can help with advanced prostate cancer. One type of external radiation therapy is used along with hormone therapy to treat cancer that has spread outside the prostate to nearby tissue. In addition, radiopharmaceuticals are used to manage pain and symptoms of bone metastases. Scroll down to learn more about radiopharmaceuticals.

    Image Guided Radiation Therapy

    In this type of radiation therapy, CT scans are taken both during the planning process and just before treatment begins. Comparing the two images allows doctors to adjust treatment as needed, since tumors can move between treatments. This allows precision targeting of the cancer while avoiding nearby healthy tissue.

    In some cases, doctors will implant a tiny marker in or near the tumor to pinpoint it for IGRT to account for organ/tumor motion even if the body is immobilized.

    Calypso is another form of IGRT where the prostate can be tracked during the treatment.

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    What Are The Dangers Of Radiotherapy Prostate Cancer Treatment

    Radiotherapy is considered effective for treatment of cancer with a success rate of above 90%. But is it safe for prostate cancer treatment? Does it cause any side effects? And if yes, are radiation therapy side effects reversible?

    Well, radio frequency is pain-free and considered safe for prostate cancer treatment. To help you understand the safety of this procedure we shall look at both the short and long-term side effects resulting from this treatment.

    Mouth And Throat Changes

    Highly Focused Radiation may Slow Down Progression in Men with Prostate ...

    Radiation therapy to the head and neck can cause mouth changes. Radiation not only kills cancer cells but can also harm healthy cells in the glands that make saliva and the moist lining of your mouth. You may have:

    • Loss/change in taste
    • Thickened saliva

    Some problems, like mouth sores, may go away after treatment ends. Others, such as taste changes, may last for months or even years. Some problems, such as dry mouth, may get better but never go away.

    Mouth Care After Radiation

    Your Throat

    Radiation therapy to the neck or chest can cause the lining of your throat to become swollen and sore. Your risk for throat changes depends on how much radiation you are getting, whether you are also having chemotherapy, and whether you use tobacco and alcohol while getting radiation therapy. You may notice throat changes in 23 weeks after starting radiation. These will likely get better 46 weeks after you have finished treatment.

    Nutrition During Head, Neck or Chest Radiation

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    Treatment To Lower Androgen Levels From Other Parts Of The Body

    LHRH agonists and antagonists can stop the testicles from making androgens, but cells in other parts of the body, such as the adrenal glands, and prostate cancer cells themselves, can still make male hormones, which can fuel cancer growth. Some drugs can block the formation of androgens made by these cells.

    Abiraterone blocks an enzyme called CYP17, which helps stop these cells from making androgens.

    Abiraterone can be used in men with advanced prostate cancer that is either:

    • Castration-resistant

    This drug is taken as pills every day. It doesnt stop the testicles from making testosterone, so men who havent had an orchiectomy need to continue treatment with an LHRH agonist or antagonist. Because abiraterone also lowers the level of some other hormones in the body, prednisone needs to be taken during treatment as well to avoid certain side effects.

    Ketoconazole , first used for treating fungal infections, also blocks production of androgens made in the adrenal glands, much like abiraterone. Its most often used to treat men just diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer who have a lot of cancer in the body, as it offers a quick way to lower testosterone levels. It can also be tried if other forms of hormone therapy are no longer working.

    Ketoconazole also can block the production of cortisol, an important steroid hormone in the body, so men treated with this drug often need to take a corticosteroid .

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