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What Are Side Effects Of Prostate Radiation

Lipid Alterations And Insulin Resistance

Radiation Therapy Side Effects for Prostate Cancer Patients

Treatment-related changes in body composition are accompanied by adverse metabolic effects. GnRH agonists increase serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides.116,144 In a prospective 12-month study, for example, GnRH agonists increased serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides by 9.0%, 7.3%, and 26.5%, respectively.142 GnRH agonists increase fasting plasma insulin level, a surrogate for insulin resistance.142,145 In a prospective study of non-diabetic men with prostate cancer initiating GnRH-agonist therapy, fasting plasma insulin levels increased by 26%, and the whole-body insulin sensitivity index decreased by 11%.146

Prostate Removal: 8 Things To Know

  • BPH: Surgical Management. Urology Care Foundation.
  • How Cancer Treatment Can Affect Ejaculation. American Cancer Society.
  • Prostate Cancer FAQs. Prostate Cancer Foundation.
  • Prostate Cancer Treatment Option Overview Surgery. National Cancer Institute.
  • Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
  • Prostatectomy . Prostate Cancer Foundation.
  • Surgery for Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society.
  • Transurethral Resection of the Prostate . Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  • What is Radical Prostatectomy for Prostate Cancer? American Urological Association.
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    Why Are There Marks On My Skin

    Small marks resembling freckles will be made on your skin along the treatment area by the radiation therapist. These marks provide targets for the treatment and are a semi-permanent outline of your treatment area. Do not try to wash these marks off or retouch them if they fade. The therapist will re-mark the treatment area when necessary.

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    Why Does Radiation Therapy Cause Side Effects

    High doses of radiation therapy are used to destroy cancer cells. Side effects come from damage to healthy cells and tissues near the treatment area. There have been major research advances in radiation therapy in recent years that have made it more precise. This has reduced this treatmentâs side effects, compared to radiation therapy techniques used in the past.

    Some people experience few side effects from radiation therapy. Or even none. Other people experience more severe side effects.

    Reactions to the radiation therapy often start during the second or third week of treatment. Or, they may last for several weeks after the final treatment. Some side effects may be long term. Talk with your treatment team about what to expect.

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    Will I Need To See My Doctor After My Imrt Treatment Is Over

    Long Term Side Effects Of Radiation For Prostate Cancer

    Once your IMRT is finished, it is important for you to have regular visits with your doctor to check how well your treatment is working and to deal with any side effects that you may have. Your doctor will want to see you every three to four months for two to three years. Your doctor will schedule your appointments and order any tests you need to make sure you have the best follow-up care possible. Don’t be afraid to ask about any tests or treatments that your doctor orders. Use these appointments to learn about the things you need to do to take good care of yourself following your prostate cancer treatment. .

    Helping Yourself After Your IMRT Treatments.

    • When do you need to see your doctor or health care team?
    • How can you reach your doctor or health care team?

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    What Can I Do To Take Care Of Myself During Imrt

    Before your treatment, your doctor, in conjunction with radiation specialists, will carefully plan your care and advise you on specific steps to get you ready for IMRT. Additionally, they will give you information about the potential side effects of the treatment and details for what to do if you notice any changes.

    Importantly, IMRT to treat prostate cancer can be physically and psychologically draining. Some of the actions below can help you manage the impact of IMRT on your daily life.

    • Get ample amounts of sleep to help manage the impact of radiation-induced fatigue and tiredness.
    • Eat a healthy and balanced diet to help heal and repair damaged tissues. Your doctor will help you make changes to your diet, especially if you have appetite-related side effects.
    • Clean the skin affected by radiation with products approved by your doctor.
    • Talk to your doctor before initiating any new medications or supplements.

    When Should I Call The Doctor

    You should call your doctor if you have:

    • A pain that doesn’t go away, especially if it’s always in the same place
    • New or unusual lumps, bumps, or swelling on your body
    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • A fever or cough that doesn’t go away
    • Unusual rashes, bruises, or bleeding
    • Any symptoms that you are concerned about
    • Any other warning signs mentioned by your doctor or health care team

    If you have any of these signs talk to your doctor or health care team. There are medicines and treatments that can help you feel better. It is important that you talk to your doctor or health care team about any side effects you may have during or after your treatment. Your health care team can help treat these problems.

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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.

    How Prostate Cancer Staging And Risk Stratification Affect Treatment Options

    Side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer video

    Your treatment choices are determined by several factors, including your cancers stage, aggressiveness and assigned risk stratification . Your age and current general health condition may also affect your choices.

    Prostate cancer staging

    Prostate cancer staging determines whether the cancer is confined to the prostate gland or whether theres evidence of metastasis, meaning its spread to other areas of the body.

    Tools and methods to determine staging may include the prostate-specific antigen test, the digital rectal examination , the Gleason score and the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system, which provides information on the tumor, lymph node involvement and metastasis of a cancer. Imaging tests, such as a PET/CT scan, may also help determine your cancers stage.

    The four stages of prostate cancer are subdivided into more precise categories, but we generally refer to three groups that indicate how far the cancer has spread:

    Localized, meaning theres no indication that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate

    Regional, meaning theres evidence of cancer cells in nearby lymph nodes or tissue

    Distant, meaning theres evidence the cancer has spread to other organs or body parts farther from the prostate

    Almost 90 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed at the localized or regional stage. The five-year relative survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer at these stages is nearly 100 percent.

    Prostate cancer risk assessment

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    What Are The Side Effects Of External Beam Radiotherapy

    Like all treatments for prostate cancer, radiotherapy can cause side effects. These will affect each man differently, and you might not get all the possible side effects. Sometimes bowel, urinary and sexual problems after radiotherapy treatment are called pelvic radiation disease.

    Side effects happen when the healthy tissue near the prostate is damaged by radiotherapy. Most healthy cells recover so side effects may only last a few weeks or months. But some side effects can start months or years after treatment. These can sometimes become long-term problems. Before you start treatment, talk to your doctor, nurse or radiographer about the side effects. Knowing what to expect can help you deal with them.

    If you have hormone therapy as well as radiotherapy, you may also get side effects from the hormone therapy. Read more about the side effects of hormone therapy and how you can manage them.

    If youre having radiotherapy as a second treatment, and you still have side effects from your first treatment, then radiotherapy can make those side effects worse or last longer. It may also cause other side effects. The most common side effects of radiotherapy are described here.

    Short-term side effects of radiotherapy

    Urinary problems

    Radiotherapy can irritate the lining of the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube men urinate and ejaculate through. This can cause urinary problems, such as:

    Bowel problems

    Tiredness and fatigue

    Problems with ejaculation

    Skin irritation and hair loss

    How Does Hormone Therapy Work Against Prostate Cancer

    Early in their development, prostate cancers need androgens to grow. Hormone therapies, which are treatments that decrease androgen levels or block androgen action, can inhibit the growth of such prostate cancers, which are therefore called castration sensitive, androgen dependent, or androgen sensitive.

    Most prostate cancers eventually stop responding to hormone therapy and become castration resistant. That is, they continue to grow even when androgen levels in the body are extremely low or undetectable. In the past, these tumors were also called hormone resistant, androgen independent, or hormone refractory however, these terms are rarely used now because the tumors are not truly independent of androgens for their growth. In fact, some newer hormone therapies have become available that can be used to treat tumors that have become castration resistant.

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    Side Effects Of Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatment

    Medically Reviewed by Beth Hendrickson, RN

    Radiation treatment is often the first therapy in treating prostate cancer. It may be used throughout treatment if the cancer recurs or spreads. There are several side effects from radiation treatment for prostate cancer, including urinary problems, erectile dysfunction, and bowel problems. You may also experience fatigue, which usually improves with time, and lymphedema.

    Will I Be Able To Have Children After Imrt

    Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer Side Effects

    Before your IMRT treatment starts, talk with your doctor about your plans for a family. Let your doctor know if you would like to have children after treatment. Your doctor can help you learn about what you can do now to plan for your family’s future. He or she can talk with you about sperm banking . Or your doctor can refer you to a fertility specialist, a doctor who helps people who have trouble having children.

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    How To Decide Between Radiation And Surgery For Localized Prostate Cancer

    If youre like most men whove been diagnosed with prostate cancer, youve been told you have early-stage, localized prostate cancer, meaning the disease hasnt spread beyond the prostate. You may have also been told that you have choices about what you want to do next.

    Unless your cancer is aggressive, youve probably been presented with three treatment options: active surveillance, radiation therapy or surgery. If you arent comfortable with active surveillance, or if its not an advisable option for you, you may have to decide between radiation therapy and surgery to treat your cancer.

    Many men want to know whats the best treatment for their localized prostate cancer. But its a misconception that you have only one better or safer choice. In most cases, either radiation therapy or surgery is an equally good choice when we look at long-term survival.

    Weve heard of some physicians telling men of their prostate cancer diagnosis and asking them to make a treatment decision at the same appointment. But prostate cancer progresses slowly, so most men have time to think about their options and shouldnt feel pressured into making an immediate decision.

    How you feel about the big three possible side effects of treatmenturinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction and bowel healthmay be the deciding factor for you.

    To help you through the process of making this decision, this article covers:

    Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

    This technique uses advanced image guided techniques to deliver large doses of radiation to a precise area, such as the prostate. Because there are large doses of radiation in each dose, the entire course of treatment is given over just a few days.

    SBRT is often known by the names of the machines that deliver the radiation, such as Gamma Knife®, X-Knife®, CyberKnife®, and Clinac®.

    The main advantage of SBRT over IMRT is that the treatment takes less time . The side effects, though, are not better. In fact, some research has shown that some side effects might actually be worse with SBRT than with IMRT.

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    External Beam Radiation Therapy

    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

    Mouth And Throat Changes

    What Are Some Radiation Treatment Side Effects for Prostate Cancer Patients?

    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:

    • Mouth sores
    • 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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    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. Do not 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.
    • Do not apply any ointment, cream, lotion, or powder to the treated area unless your radiation oncologist or nurse has prescribed it.
    • Do not wear tight-fitting clothing or clothes made from harsh fabrics such as wool or corduroy. These fabrics can irritate the skin. Instead, choose clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton.
    • Do not apply medical tape or bandages to the treated area.
    • Do not expose the treated area to extreme heat or cold. Avoid using an electric heating pad, hot water bottle, or ice pack.
    • Do not expose the treated area to direct sunlight, as sun exposure may intensify your skin reaction and lead to 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.

    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.

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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?

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