I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and underwent quite a lot of radiotherapy at the time. The cancer was cured but in 2016 it returned and had spread to the lymph nodes. This time I had chemo and hormone therapy and am pleased to say that my cancer has responded well and I have been having no cancer treatment since February 2019. Of course, I'm still having 3 monthly blood tests and see my consultant every 6 months.
Then last November, right out of the blue, I peed blood. I was referred for a cystoscopy and was told that the blood vessels in my bladder (Telangiectasia) had been damaged by the radiotherapy, and this had caused the bleeding. I was given no treatment and it was assumed to be a one-off. Then in May 2020, I had another big bleed. This time I had to be catheterised because I had a blockage due to the blood clots and had to spend 3 days in hospital to have my bladder flushed. Again I had a cystoscopy and was given the same verdict. I was prescribed Finasteride because the drug is known to shrink the prostate to help to reduce the pressure on the bladder wall. I was warned that his drug can lead to a lower PSA reading, so I made my oncologist aware that I was taking it. Then last week I had yet another bleed and again had to be catheterised and spent another 3 days in hospital. The doctor has again given me the same diagnosis but has referred me for a CT scan, just to 'dot the i's and cross the 't's', in his words. He mentioned that if the scan comes back clear, they may be able to offer me some other treatment in addition to the Finasteride. I'm not sure at this stage what form this could take.
I'm sure there must be loads of men out there who have experienced this problem after radiotherapy and would be interested to know of your experiences. Because the bleeding occurs without warning, it is difficult to plan one's life and with the added complication of the pandemic, it is playing havoc with my mental health.