While most men here that have underwent radiation treatment report few serious side effects, its important to know there can be exceptions. I just completed 39 sessions/72 gys of IMRT delivered by Tomalis hardware for the purpose of salvage radiation.
You should know that I was ultra sensitive to radiation in general ,based on a very enduring episode of radiation treatments I underwent 10 years ago. So my dr. knew I would have a harder time with this. Also ,due to other post surgery complications, I underwent my radiation wearing a Suprapubic Catheter in place the entire time. That's another unusual complication.
My treatments were 5 days a week, Monday - Friday, for 8 weeks, minus 1 day for Thanksgiving day.
I started feeling fatigue and burning and enflamed swollen feelings by the end of the first week. First couple of weeks, bothered by nausea, really bad at first, but that side effect seemed to pass away after then, only mild feelings from that point on.
By 2nd week, in the evenings, would be overcome by waves of deep bone felt faitgue. Only rest was able to help with that. I continued to have a lot of burning pain in the treated area, especially where the catheter tube exited my body. Towards the end, I would leave the clinic with severe bladder spasms (from the catheter) and a bruised burning feeling down the length of my penile shaft.
The dr. agreed that it was from "scattering", no matter how tight they direct the radiation, some scatters into surrounding area. The one side effect I didnt get was diarrea or burning while going #2. I was fortunate there.
For 2 weeks after the radiation ended, the pain described stayed the same and the fatigue was overwhelming at times. Mild pain meds and rest helped.
I am now a little over a month out of radiation. Much less pain, but some every day, still have fatigue, but not like when I was undergoing it. Seeing my radiation oncologist today for a checkup and see my first post radiation PSA.
Don't let my story scare you, but all procedures have rists, potential complications and side effects. For some men, they will say radiation was a piece of cake, for others, like me, it was a living nightmare for two months.
David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence: 1 Month ED: Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA:
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped 9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 in place