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Diet During Prostate Radiation Therapy

What Are The Different Types Of Radiation Treatment For Prostate Cancer

What to Eat and What Should Avoid During Radiation Therapy? | Dr. Kanika Sharma (English)

Three types of radiation therapy are used to treat prostate cancer.

Brachytherapy involves inserting radioactive pellets into your prostate. External beam radiation involves aiming radiation at your prostate from an external device. Radiopharmaceuticals involve taking radioactive medication through an intravenous line that travels through your bloodstream.

Prevalence Of Bowel Symptoms

Diarrhoea was the most prevalent symptom during the acute phase, 76% in the NIG and 69% in the SCG reported at least quite a bit of diarrhoea .4). Other symptoms rated quite a bit during the acute phase were limitations to daily activities due to bowel symptoms and bloated abdomen. Bloated abdomen was also the most common symptom during the late phase. Blood in stools was less prevalent in the NIG compared with the SCG during the acute and the late phase. There were no differences between the groups regarding the self-reported data on other bowel symptoms, or use of medication due to bowel symptoms during or after RT .

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What Is A Radiation Oncologist

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.

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Faq: Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Why would I choose radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy, including external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy, is an alternative form of treatment for prostate cancer. EBRT may be used after other treatments, such as surgery, to manage cancer that has recurred or is at high risk of recurrence. Radiation therapy has an excellent record of success, providing long-term disease control and survival rates equivalent to other treatments, including surgery.

How should I expect to feel during radiation therapy?

Undergoing external beam radiation therapy is similar to having a routine X-ray. Radiation cannot be seen, smelled or felt. Generally, side effects don’t appear until the second or third week of treatment. Because radiation therapy is a local treatment, only the areas of the body where it is directed will experience side effects. Most patients will experience some or all of the following:

  • Increase in the frequency of urination
  • Urinary urgency
  • Softer and smaller volume bowel movements
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements
  • Worsening of hemorrhoids or rectal irritation with occasional scant blood and fatigue

Many questions may arise during radiation therapy treatment. Your doctors will be available to answer questions throughout your treatment.

How should I expect to feel after radiation therapy?

What Are The Risks Of Breast Cancer

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  • Based on current breast cancer incidence rates, experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
  • The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age. A womans risk of developing this disease increases as she gets older. In African American women, age is not the highest risk factor.
  • Other factors can also increase a womans risk of developing breast cancer, including
  • 1) Genetically susceptible background
  • 2) Prolonged estrogen stimulation
  • 3) Endometrial Cancer, ionizing radiation, smoking cigarettes
  • 4) High dense density
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    Possible Side Effects Of Ebrt

    Some of the side effects from EBRT are the same as those from surgery, while others are different.

    Bowel problems: Radiation can irritate the rectum and cause a condition called radiation proctitis. This can lead to diarrhea, sometimes with blood in the stool, and rectal leakage. Most of these problems go away over time, but in rare cases normal bowel function does not return. To help lessen bowel problems, you may be told to follow a special diet during radiation therapy to help limit bowel movement during treatment. Sometimes a balloon-like device or gel is put between the rectum and the prostate before treatment to act like a spacer to lessen the amount of radiation that reaches the rectum.

    Urinary problems: Radiation can irritate the bladder and lead to a condition called radiation cystitis. You might need to urinate more often, have a burning sensation while you urinate, and/or find blood in your urine. Urinary problems usually improve over time, but in some men they never go away.

    Some men develop urinary incontinence after treatment, which means they cant control their urine or have leakage or dribbling. As described in the surgery section, there are different levels and types of incontinence. Overall, this side effect occurs less often with radiation therapy than after surgery. The risk is low at first, but it goes up each year for several years after treatment.

    Covariate Associations With Bowel Symptoms

    Higher levels of bowel symptoms at baseline were associated with higher levels of symptoms during the acute phase , except for constipation, blood in stools, abdominal cramps and limitations to daily activities due to bowel symptoms. Higher levels of constipation, abdominal cramps, unintentional leakage of stools, bloated abdomen and bowel symptoms at baseline were associated with more symptoms during the late phase . More bowel symptoms during the acute phase were associated with more symptoms during the late phase , except for blood in stools. Higher radiation dose was associated with more constipation during the acute phase . Former smoking was associated with a less bloated abdomen during the acute phase , using never smokers as a reference.

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    Maintaining Good Nutrition During And After Treatment

    Maintaining a healthy diet can help you prepare for and recover after cancer treatment. It may also help to prevent the prostate cancer from coming back.Watching your weight may also reduce your risk of dying from prostate cancer. Recent studies have indicated that the risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than double in obese men diagnosed with the disease compared with men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis. Obese men with local or regional disease have been shown to have nearly four times the risk of their cancer spreading beyond the prostate or metastasizing.

    Prostate cancer treatment may affect your appetite, eating habits, and weight, but it is important for you to maintain a healthy weight, get essential nutrients, and remain as physically active as possible. If you have difficulty eating due to side effects from treatment, there are ways to make eating more comfortable. Working with a registered dietitian/nutritionist can help make sure you are getting the nutrition you need.

    Unfortunately it is possible for the side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to cause you to lose your appetite, eat less and lose weight. On the other hand, some treatments, such as androgen deprivation therapy may cause weight gain for some men.

    , Prostate Cancer and Nutrition featuring Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, a nutrition educator from PearlPoint Nutrition Services.

    Find Or Purchase Comfortable Clothes

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    Your skin can become tender as radiation goes on, and loose-fitting camisoles and tops will be most comfortable. If you must wear a bra, make it a comfortable one and place a soft cloth between your bra strap and skin.

    Dont starch your blouses or shirts, and use a mild laundry detergent when washing your clothes.

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    Dietary Supplement Safety Considerations

    Many people believe that a pill or supplement they find in stores, is safe and it works. The Food and Drug Administration has rules to help ensure that supplements contain what their labels claim they do, but the supplements safety and its effects on the body are not addressed by any FDA rules. The FDA does not make manufacturers of these products print possible side effects on their labels. And the FDA cant pull a dietary supplement or herbal product from the market unless they have proof that the product is unsafe.

    Its also been shown that many herbal products arent what the label says they are. Some products dont contain any of the herb theyre supposed to. Some also contain potentially harmful drugs, additives, or contaminants that arent listed on the label. This means theres no sure way to know if a supplement is safe or how it will affect you.

    Tell your cancer care team about any over-the-counter products or supplements youre using or are thinking about using. Take the bottle to your doctor to talk about the dose and be sure that the ingredients do not interfere with your health or cancer treatments. Some other safety tips:

    • Ask your cancer care team for reliable information on dietary supplements.
    • Check the product labels for both the quantity and concentration of active ingredients in each product.
    • Stop taking the product and call your cancer care team right away if you have side effects, like wheezing, itching, numbness, or tingling in your limbs.

    How To Read Food Labels

    The label below lists the nutritional content of a serving of macaroni and cheese. The arrows point to the boxes on the right, which explain what each line means.

    Figure 3. How to read food labels

    This food label shows that macaroni and cheese is high in total fat and saturated fat. Due to its high fat content, this food wouldnt be considered a healthy choice.

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    Eating Well During Treatment

    Try to eat well. A healthy diet helps your body function at its best. This is even more important if you have cancer. Youll go into treatment with reserves to help keep up your strength, your energy level, and your defenses against infection. A healthy diet can also prevent body tissue from breaking down and build new tissues. People who eat well are better able to cope with side effects of treatment. And you may even be able to handle higher doses of certain drugs. In fact, some cancer treatments work better in people who are well-nourished and are getting enough calories and protein. Try these tips:

    • Dont be afraid to try new foods. Some things you never have liked before might taste good during treatment.
    • Choose different plant-based foods. Try eating beans and peas instead of meat at a few meals each week.
    • Try to eat more fruits and vegetables every day in a variety of colors. Colorful vegetables and fruits and plant-based foods have many natural health-promoting substances.
    • Try to stay at a healthy weight, and stay physically active. Small weight changes during treatment are normal.
    • Limit or avoid red or processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages and processed foods.

    If you cant do any of the above during this time, dont worry about it. Tell your cancer care team about any problems you have and ask if there is a dietician or nutritionist you could speak to. Sometimes diet changes are needed to get the extra fluids, protein, and calories you need.

    Prostate Radiation Vs Robotic Prostatectomy

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    It is not possible to decide which treatment is better or more effective radiation or robotic prostatectomy, due to the fact that everybody has different stages of prostate cancer and other health-related issues. Below are enumerated pros and cons for each type of treatment, but every patient needs to take into account what his doctor is telling and suggesting.

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    Food And Symptom Journal

    Another way to be an active partner with your health care team is to keep a food and symptom journal. It will help you to track what you eat and your side effects. Sharing the journal with your health care team will help them to manage your treatment and recommend the healthiest diet for you.Food and Symptom Journal

    Proteins To Heal Cells

    Protein is the building material of your body, and is necessary for healing and rejuvenating your body. It is particularly important to get sufficient amounts of protein-rich foods during all the stages of your cancer treatment and recovery. A review published in “CA,” a journal for clinicians, recommends that patients in recovery get at least 10 percent of their daily calories from proteins. The best sources of protein include low-fat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk and dairy products, legumes and nuts.

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    The Science Behind Missed Sessions

    Take, for example, a study appearing in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology. This study analyzed data from more than 1200 patients, with a goal of determining whether or not patients who were classified as noncompliant as it relates to their radiation sessions were at any larger risk than those patients who were compliant. We go much more in-depth on the reasons behind the common question of how many radiation sessions can you miss here.

    Noncompliant patients were categorized as patients who missed two or more of their scheduled appointments. Shockingly, of those patients that fell into the noncompliant category, 22 percent ended up missing at least four appointments.

    Upon completion of the study, research showed the following:

    • Missing two or more appointments prolonged the course of radiation therapy by an average of 7.2 days per patient
    • In the follow-up period for this study, 9 percent of the noncompliant patients had their cancer return, while 19 percent had died
    • The conclusion being that patients who had been noncompliant with their therapy had put themselves at an increased risk of their disease returning, and had inferior rates of survival when compared to their compliant counterparts

    In addition to the above referenced study, a second separate study was conducted by Montefiore. Montefiores study looked at over 1,000 patients from a period of 2007-2012 and showed similar results:

    Planning Your Cancer Treatment Diet

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    Registered dietitians have specialized training in the nutritional needs of people with specific diseases. Your dietitian can help you plan meals that give you the right number of calories and nutrients.

    Its also important to build an eating plan thats practical for you, says Rajagopal. If youre busy in the evenings and dont have the time or energy to cook, try to select healthy takeout options. If youre on a budget, adding inexpensive, nutritious foods like beans or frozen fruit or vegetables to simple meals can go a long way.

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    What Do I Need To Do To Get Ready For My Imrt Treatment

    Getting ready for IMRT takes a great deal of planning. It can take two to three days for your radiation therapy team to plan your care. After giving you a physical exam and reviewing your medical history, your radiation oncologist will use different tools to plan your treatment. These tools will help your radiation oncologist decide the dose of radiation you need for your prostate cancer and how long your treatment will last.

    Your radiation oncologist may send you to have one or more imaging tests to help plan where the radiation beams will be aimed. The imaging tests your radiation oncologist will use to plan your treatment may include:

    • X-ray this test uses radiation to take a picture of the inside of your body. You may have seen a chest x-ray or x-ray pictures of your teeth or your bones.
    • CT Scan is a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of your prostate cancer and the area around your prostate. You may be given contrast through an I.V. in your arm or to drink by mouth. Contrast will help your prostate cancer show up better during the CT Scan.
    • MRI Scan is a test that uses a large magnet to make pictures of your prostate cancer and the area around your prostate.
    • PET Scan is a test where you are given contrast before you have x-rays taken. The contrast will travel to the parts of your body where your prostate cancer is active. The x-ray will give your doctor a better picture of what your prostate cancer looks like.

    Getting Ready For IMRT

    Drink Plenty Of Liquids

    Hydration is an important aspect of a healthy radiation diet. It is recommended that individuals drink 3-4 quarts of liquids every day. Drinking lots of water is especially important if you experience diarrhea during radiation therapy.

    Good hydration flushes toxins out of the body and reduces treatment side effects such as nausea, weakness, bowel changes, and fatigue, says Komar. Staying hydrated can also help keep a patient from going into the cancer center for IV hydration.

    Keep a filled water bottle with you at all times and drink, drink, drink. Some Jello, pudding, popsicles and juice products are additional hydration sources, but be cautions of their sugar content. If you do not care for the taste of water, try sneaking water into soup broths, fruit shakes, and flavored teas.

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    Clinical And Demographic Characteristics

    Demographics and medical data were collected from medical records or obtained at the baseline visit. Information regarding proctitis, eventual lower intestinal endoscopies, urinary tract infection, use of antibiotics and hospitalisation during and after RT were collected from medical records at 1 and 24 months after RT completion. Information regarding cancer recurrence and additional oncological treatment were collected at 24 months. Nutritional status was assessed with the Scored Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment tool at baseline and the PG-SGA Short Form at 12 and 24 months after RT .

    Monitor The Fat In Your Diet

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    Some fat in our diets is necessary and healthy. There are different types of fat. Some are healthier than others.

    Fat is calorie-dense. One gram of fat has more than 9 calories, while 1 gram of a carbohydrate or a protein has 4 calories. Therefore, high-fat foods have a lot of calories in a small amount of food. If youre trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss, this is important.

    For some medical conditions, limiting fat may be helpful. However, for most people, there is no need to avoid fat. What is important is to avoid eating too many calories and to choose healthier types of fats.

    Your fat intake should be about 20% to 35% of your calories. This is about 40 to 70 grams of fat per day for a 1,800 calorie diet.

    The type of fat you eat can be as important as the amount.

    Types of cholesterol

    Cholesterol is a fat-like substance. Its found only in foods that come from an animal source, such as meat, eggs, and dairy. Cholesterol travels in the blood in packages called lipoproteins. There are 2 types of lipoproteins: good and bad.

    • Low-density lipoprotein is bad cholesterol. It can clog your arteries and cause heart disease.
    • High-density lipoprotein is good cholesterol. It takes cholesterol out of your body.

    Types of fats

    Limiting the amount of saturated fat you eat can keep your heart healthy and make it easier to maintain your weight. Choose mostly monounsaturated fats. These fats are described below.

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