Minimizing Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Radiation therapy is extremely effective in treating prostate cancer. Today, survival rate for patients undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer are among the highest of any forms of cancer.

Radiation Therapy technology has greatly improved leading to more targeted treatment; however, the threat of side effects remains. One of the biggest risks of radiation therapy is injury to the rectum, which sits next to the prostate gland. Rectal injuries resulting from radiation can lead to:

  • Bleeding
  • Leakage
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic Discomfort and Irritation
  • Fecal Incontinence

Other side effects that can result from radiation are:

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Urinary Incontinence

The severity of these side effects varies from patient-to-patient and is influenced by the dosage and frequency of the radiation therapy.  For some patients, these problems are mild and go away on their own. For others, side effects can be debilitating and last years after treatment is completed.