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Radiation Therapy.

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 17:09

I am about to start 20 sessions of RT in the Churchill Oxford. Any last minute tips might be welcome on things like diet and exercise etc. I am trying to drink lots of water, avoiding spicy foods and caffeine, eating fruit and vegetables, and I hope I am permitted a glass of wine every day. I hope that I won't get too tired as I like to walk my dog. I gather you can be lucky with side effects. So far I have not had any particularly adverse effects after 5 months of my 6 month's worth of hormone therapy. good luck to anyone else about to start any treatment.

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 17:52

You are doing everything right with that diet, and a bit of dog walking for exercise. A glass of wine will do no harm. You probably won't get any side effects but if you do, they will come later in the treatment probably week three or four or a few weeks after. If you get any side effects with bowels constipation or diarrhea let the radiotherapist know they may suggest something, in reality I think you are unlikely to get any side effects. Don't attempt to lose or gain weight whilst on treatment, you want your prostate in exactly the same place as it was when they tatooed targets on you.

Dave

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 19:35

Some men are asked to avoid all fibre, which includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, but if you haven't been given a strict diet you should be fine. If they find you have a lot of gas, they will soon tell you what dietary changes to make.

John was not allowed any alcohol or caffeine at all. 

Edited by member 22 Sep 2021 at 19:35  | Reason: Not specified

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 04:39
You might also ask about what you should dab on to where you might experience some soreness after a few sessions of RT, Don't rub affected areas or use scented soap. Also avoid staying out in the sun, if we experience it again of course!
Barry
User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 05:41

Thank you Barry. I will note and ask. Your thoughtfulness appreciated. 

User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 21:59

Hope your radiotherapy goes as smoothly as mine had 37 fractions in March all went smoothly with out any major problems went for treatment in the morning then went to work after never missed a shift  good luck with your treatment  gaz

User
Posted 26 Sep 2021 at 00:31

Hope your treatment goes well for you.  My Husband finished his radiotherapy at the end of July and he was fine throughout apart from some slight bowel issues for a few days right at the end which soon cleared up.

He is now on Hormones for the next three years but his psa and other bloods have just come back really low and his next follow up appointment is not for six months.

You will be well cared for at the hospital and they explain everything to you and make it as easy as possible for you and you will get follow ups during treatment where you can discuss any concerns.  Good luck and it doesnt last forever although it seems along process at the time it will be worthwhile.

Barbara

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 09:07
I am also half way thru radiation 3/6 - lack energy and feel a bit lousy for a couple of days after each faction. I pee more at nights as well - four times last night and I take tamsulosin that normally does the job
User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 11:26
At the end of my RT I was having to pee every 45m all night long. The side-effects generally peak about a fortnight after treatment ends, but fall off quickly after that. Fortunately there was a McDonald's roughly half way along my hour-long drive to the hospital which I could use as a loo-stop.

Best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 14:05

One of my "Rads" suggested cranberry juice to help with the discomfort whilst peeing. I started drinking a glass of it a day that day and it really helped. At short notice I started off with the juice drinks that they sell in the supermarkets and even that worked for me. I then went in search of "pure" juice which you can find in health food shops; you have to dilute it (a lot!), but at least it isn't loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Two years later I'm still drinking a glass of it most days, although the original reason has long gone.

From reading other posts on here I gather that cranberry is not a good idea for those who have had surgery, but for me with the RT it really helped.

For me the side effects peaked just after the end of treatment... I got very fatigued at various points over the fortnight after the last zap.

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 17:06
Almost everyone would do well to drink cranberry juice, male or female, young or old, prostate or not. I can't think of any reason why men who have had RP shouldn't drink it. As you said, pure is far better than the cheaper 'from concentrate' versions - even cheaper is to buy fresh or frozen cranberries and whizz them into a drink at home.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 22 Oct 2021 at 14:35

Hi David

I just had my third Radiation shot today after hormones for around 4-5 months.

No major side affects as yet except I think I am going for more urinations at night than usual, but not much more maybe 3-4 times an evening - daytime seems better.

I've been drinking water as suggested - up to 2 litres per day or 24 hrs, but my pre treatment scan showed bladder was reasonable first day, full and great the second day and a bit small the third day. I understand the bladder needs to be full and bowel empty before treatment to clear the prostate.

I do the pre treatment enema an hour before, toileting and then 500ml of water half an hour before. I thought I was drinking enough during the day but it seems to be a bit hit and miss with the bladder. I understand from google the bladder can take 7-8 hours to fill, so having a pee within an hour of your radiation would surely deplete the amount in the bladder??

How are you getting on with this - any issues or has anyone any tips about water intake to ensure your bladder is full before treatment - hope I haven't made it more complicated than it needs to be.

I get this feeling that if the bladder isn't right and full, despite ones best efforts, the Xrays will be hitting it and causing irritation

Cheers

Joe

User
Posted 27 Oct 2021 at 07:41
Glad to hear that you've got through it OK, David. If flow problems persist, get a prescription for Tamsulosin. It'll completely sort it out.

It's strange how you do miss the RT in a way. It dominates your life for weeks (almost two months in my case) and you're the centre of attention, and then it's all over and you feel almost "abandoned"! I felt just the same.

Very best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 10:46

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I completed my RT (6*6) on Tuesday. I am used to the fatigue and various aches and pains, along with increased urination despite the tamusolin (?). I have bloods nex week and do not know what to expect after 0.03 PSA last month. I have an onco meet in 3 weeks and wonder if he will recommend a new CT scan to confirm status of PC and the three mets. Thoughts?

Have you been told about Tadalafil tablets?

They can help with ED & other problems caused by HT etc?

I found Tamusolin gave me a bunged up nose/cold symptom - which was horrible.

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 11:41
I think the onco will say it is too soon for a scan
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 12:51

Presumably the PSA test will be unreliable, being so soon after RT. So if it is low take it as a positive but if it is high ignore it and get another one in a few months. As you can tell I am a glass half full person.

Dave

User
Posted 13 Nov 2021 at 18:42
Make sure you're in the appropriate topic area of the site then click the "Start a Conversation" button. Your post will be approved by a moderator before it comes visible, which can take 24h or so.

Best wishes,

Chris

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User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 17:52

You are doing everything right with that diet, and a bit of dog walking for exercise. A glass of wine will do no harm. You probably won't get any side effects but if you do, they will come later in the treatment probably week three or four or a few weeks after. If you get any side effects with bowels constipation or diarrhea let the radiotherapist know they may suggest something, in reality I think you are unlikely to get any side effects. Don't attempt to lose or gain weight whilst on treatment, you want your prostate in exactly the same place as it was when they tatooed targets on you.

Dave

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 19:35

Some men are asked to avoid all fibre, which includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, but if you haven't been given a strict diet you should be fine. If they find you have a lot of gas, they will soon tell you what dietary changes to make.

John was not allowed any alcohol or caffeine at all. 

Edited by member 22 Sep 2021 at 19:35  | Reason: Not specified

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 20:11

Thanks for his Dave. Much appreciated.

User
Posted 22 Sep 2021 at 20:13

Thanks for posting this. I will ask at my introductory briefing tomorrow,. 

Edited by member 23 Sep 2021 at 05:42  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 04:39
You might also ask about what you should dab on to where you might experience some soreness after a few sessions of RT, Don't rub affected areas or use scented soap. Also avoid staying out in the sun, if we experience it again of course!
Barry
User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 05:41

Thank you Barry. I will note and ask. Your thoughtfulness appreciated. 

User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 21:59

Hope your radiotherapy goes as smoothly as mine had 37 fractions in March all went smoothly with out any major problems went for treatment in the morning then went to work after never missed a shift  good luck with your treatment  gaz

User
Posted 23 Sep 2021 at 22:14

Thanks for your good wishes. Glad to hear yours went well. All the best and well done for working. I'm a bit too old for that... All the best. 

User
Posted 24 Sep 2021 at 11:03
I have just had first of 6 weekly fractions at 6 gye and received the best advice of not taking any supplements. I enjoy a curry but don't drink much alchohol. I walk the dog, do limited weights and will start on my electric bike again (no need to overdo it).
User
Posted 24 Sep 2021 at 20:42

Good luck. Keep walking the dog. Best wishes. 

User
Posted 26 Sep 2021 at 00:31

Hope your treatment goes well for you.  My Husband finished his radiotherapy at the end of July and he was fine throughout apart from some slight bowel issues for a few days right at the end which soon cleared up.

He is now on Hormones for the next three years but his psa and other bloods have just come back really low and his next follow up appointment is not for six months.

You will be well cared for at the hospital and they explain everything to you and make it as easy as possible for you and you will get follow ups during treatment where you can discuss any concerns.  Good luck and it doesnt last forever although it seems along process at the time it will be worthwhile.

Barbara

User
Posted 26 Sep 2021 at 22:08

Thanks for your kindness. I am glad your husband's treatment went well. Best wishes to both of you. 

User
Posted 05 Oct 2021 at 18:28
When do you start your RT David?

Best of luck with it. I had mine & HT late 2019 - Still here now !!

User
Posted 06 Oct 2021 at 18:31

Hi, I am half way through my RT -10/20. It's okay, though I am feeling a little tired and I hav to pee much more frequently, a nuisance at night, and it's a bit slow to start and uncomfortable.

User
Posted 06 Oct 2021 at 19:47

David, if you haven't already done so, ask for a prescription for Tamsulosin. It should sort out the flow issue. The radiation is making your prostate swell up and obstruct the flow. It's an extremely common side-effect of RT.

I bought a plastic urine bottle (Amazon) for nighttime use which helped a lot.

Very best wishes for the rest of your treatment.

Chris

Edited by member 06 Oct 2021 at 20:13  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 06 Oct 2021 at 20:57

Thank you, It's very kind. I'll ask.

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 09:07
I am also half way thru radiation 3/6 - lack energy and feel a bit lousy for a couple of days after each faction. I pee more at nights as well - four times last night and I take tamsulosin that normally does the job
User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 11:26
At the end of my RT I was having to pee every 45m all night long. The side-effects generally peak about a fortnight after treatment ends, but fall off quickly after that. Fortunately there was a McDonald's roughly half way along my hour-long drive to the hospital which I could use as a loo-stop.

Best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 14:05

One of my "Rads" suggested cranberry juice to help with the discomfort whilst peeing. I started drinking a glass of it a day that day and it really helped. At short notice I started off with the juice drinks that they sell in the supermarkets and even that worked for me. I then went in search of "pure" juice which you can find in health food shops; you have to dilute it (a lot!), but at least it isn't loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Two years later I'm still drinking a glass of it most days, although the original reason has long gone.

From reading other posts on here I gather that cranberry is not a good idea for those who have had surgery, but for me with the RT it really helped.

For me the side effects peaked just after the end of treatment... I got very fatigued at various points over the fortnight after the last zap.

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 17:06
Almost everyone would do well to drink cranberry juice, male or female, young or old, prostate or not. I can't think of any reason why men who have had RP shouldn't drink it. As you said, pure is far better than the cheaper 'from concentrate' versions - even cheaper is to buy fresh or frozen cranberries and whizz them into a drink at home.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 07 Oct 2021 at 18:30

Good luck and keep the faith. Maybe let every body know when you have made a full recovery. Best wishes 

User
Posted 22 Oct 2021 at 14:35

Hi David

I just had my third Radiation shot today after hormones for around 4-5 months.

No major side affects as yet except I think I am going for more urinations at night than usual, but not much more maybe 3-4 times an evening - daytime seems better.

I've been drinking water as suggested - up to 2 litres per day or 24 hrs, but my pre treatment scan showed bladder was reasonable first day, full and great the second day and a bit small the third day. I understand the bladder needs to be full and bowel empty before treatment to clear the prostate.

I do the pre treatment enema an hour before, toileting and then 500ml of water half an hour before. I thought I was drinking enough during the day but it seems to be a bit hit and miss with the bladder. I understand from google the bladder can take 7-8 hours to fill, so having a pee within an hour of your radiation would surely deplete the amount in the bladder??

How are you getting on with this - any issues or has anyone any tips about water intake to ensure your bladder is full before treatment - hope I haven't made it more complicated than it needs to be.

I get this feeling that if the bladder isn't right and full, despite ones best efforts, the Xrays will be hitting it and causing irritation

Cheers

Joe

User
Posted 22 Oct 2021 at 17:29

I have now had my 5 th of 6 th RT fractions of 6 g. This week I have felt distinctly under the weather and getting up 5* a night but expect it is all worth while and the side effects will reduce shortly after the final fraction next Tuesday. After that I have a blood test in early November then an ocno meeting in mid-month that should confirm the situation and onward path. I expect my nadir at 0.03 has been reached.

Edited by member 22 Oct 2021 at 17:30  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 22 Oct 2021 at 18:07
Hi David,

As you have seen from the responses of others, it is very common as RT progresses the need to urinate increases and this becomes very tiring. However, it does usually decrease so that by two or three months post RT you are back to pre RT visits. So if you have suffered greatly in this respect as I did too, take heart that it will ease over time. The body also seems to become accustomed to the effects of RT and HT in combination, although tiredness and other side effects caused by the HT do seem to continue while you are still having it.

Barry
User
Posted 26 Oct 2021 at 22:39

Thanks. I have now finished my 20 RT sessions and am relieved to forego the travelling to hospital 5 times a week. But I miss the wonderfully dedicated, caring and professional staff, and equally the interaction with fellow patients. One woman patient I spoke too a few times said that it had been an eye opener for her that men could talk openly about their feelings and the details of their condition. I have enjoyed the company of all sorts and conditions of humanity. Itcs a strong bond. As for my side effects they have been fairly predictable; increased urinary frequency and urgency, with several loo trips during the night but I am able to get back to sleep. Urination can often be slow to start and there is some discomfort, though in the evenings I take some paracetamol as advised and I can live with the discomfort because it is transient. Iam hoping that as with most people the side effects will start to improve 2-3 weeks after cessation of radiation. I have another week or so to go and am still drinking 5/6 pints of water spread out through the day, from a pint beer glass and I tick each one off to keep a tally. I have had a little early leakage just twice because I wasn't quite quick enough but mostly its fine. I finished my 6 month dose of hormones just about half way through the RT but I'm told it will take a while before the effect of this washed out of the system completely. Still a bit tired but manage 10 K steps spread out over the day. Am optimistic about the long term. This is a wonderful  treatment with remarkably successful results, though my nurse practioner described it as gruelling. But in the end I have seen a wonderful side of humanity through this whole experience which has enriched my experience of life. 

User
Posted 27 Oct 2021 at 07:24
I found similar at Addenbrooks Hospital, David. The staff are dedicated, far more than many other NHS settings.

& fellow patients, mostly did not mind talking of their treatment. Some were much worse than myself.

I remember several chaps who had a Prostectamy then had to have RT as well ! Not good.

User
Posted 27 Oct 2021 at 07:41
Glad to hear that you've got through it OK, David. If flow problems persist, get a prescription for Tamsulosin. It'll completely sort it out.

It's strange how you do miss the RT in a way. It dominates your life for weeks (almost two months in my case) and you're the centre of attention, and then it's all over and you feel almost "abandoned"! I felt just the same.

Very best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 27 Oct 2021 at 21:26

Yes. Addenbrooks must have a connection with Cambridge University, so is a centre of expertise. I was lucky enough to have had my treatment at the Churchill, Oxford which is a leading cancer hospital. And also some of the guys there had had very high PSAs, which made my 10.2 (Gleason 3 + 4) look pretty tame. Some will have to stay on hormone therapy for a while, while my 6 monthly injection should be it over and done with. Best wishes to you.

User
Posted 27 Oct 2021 at 21:31

Glad to hear things are going well and I understand well the effects. I'm sure you will be cured and feel back to yourself. Stay well, my friend and best wishes.

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 09:30
I completed my RT (6*6) on Tuesday. I am used to the fatigue and various aches and pains, along with increased urination despite the tamusolin (?). I have bloods nex week and do not know what to expect after 0.03 PSA last month. I have an onco meet in 3 weeks and wonder if he will recommend a new CT scan to confirm status of PC and the three mets. Thoughts?
User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 10:46

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
I completed my RT (6*6) on Tuesday. I am used to the fatigue and various aches and pains, along with increased urination despite the tamusolin (?). I have bloods nex week and do not know what to expect after 0.03 PSA last month. I have an onco meet in 3 weeks and wonder if he will recommend a new CT scan to confirm status of PC and the three mets. Thoughts?

Have you been told about Tadalafil tablets?

They can help with ED & other problems caused by HT etc?

I found Tamusolin gave me a bunged up nose/cold symptom - which was horrible.

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 11:41
I think the onco will say it is too soon for a scan
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 12:51

Presumably the PSA test will be unreliable, being so soon after RT. So if it is low take it as a positive but if it is high ignore it and get another one in a few months. As you can tell I am a glass half full person.

Dave

User
Posted 28 Oct 2021 at 19:48

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

I found Tamusolin gave me a bunged up nose/cold symptom - which was horrible.

I know it doesn't suit everyone, but it's worked wonders for me. I only take one tablet every other day, but if I forget to take one, the day after I should have taken it the difference in flow becomes very noticeable. It's something I'd certainly suggest anyone with flow problems should try and see how they get on with it. You can buy it over the counter, although I get mine on prescription. 

Cheers,

Chris

Edited by member 28 Oct 2021 at 19:48  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 13 Nov 2021 at 17:05
You'd be much better starting a new discussion thread for your treatment rather than jumping on David's thread. Let's leave this one for David to talk about his treatment!

Best wishes,

Chris

User
Posted 13 Nov 2021 at 17:12

Tried that but site blocked me posting new thread... Probably as I'm new member? Not sure thread contributions should be only focused on the originator, but point taken. 

User
Posted 13 Nov 2021 at 18:42
Make sure you're in the appropriate topic area of the site then click the "Start a Conversation" button. Your post will be approved by a moderator before it comes visible, which can take 24h or so.

Best wishes,

Chris

 
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