Treatment Options for Men who Experience Urinary Problems after Radiation for Prostate Cancer
What Radiation Options Are Used for Treatment of Prostate Cancer?
Men with prostate cancer can be treated with a number of radiation methods including IMRT/IGRT, Proton Beam Therapy, CyberKnife, EBRT, and prostate brachytherapy (seed implants or HDR).
Common Urinary Problems after IMRT, CyberKnife, Proton Beam and Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer
It is not uncommon for men to experience urinary problems during radiotherapy. Most commonly urinary symptoms during radiotherapy for prostate cancer include the following:
- Frequent urination
- painful urination
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Slow urinary stream
- urge to urinate
- Bloody urine
- urinary retention (inability to urinate)
In most men, urinary symptoms improve spontaneously after completion of radiation. In some men, the symptoms persist or become worse. For these men, treatment options are available to help them with urinary symptoms after radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Treatment options for men with urinary symptoms after radiation for prostate cancer
Many men benefit from medical treatment to help them with urinary symptoms during IMRT, CyberKnife, proton beam or brachytherapy. These medications include alpha blockers such as Flomax, alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride or Proscar, and anticholinergic medications such as Detrol, or Vesicare.
When medical treatment does not provide sufficient benefit or of the symptoms persist, other treatment options offered at New York Urology Specialists include Urolift procedure, Greenlight laser of the prostate, Botox injections in the bladder, and TURP.
It should be noted that men with urinary symptoms after radiation therapy for prostate cancer should have a cystoscopy at a minimum to exclude urethral stricture disease and bladder tumors. Some men may also benefit from a urodynamic evaluation.
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