Radiation Side Effects

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Ken S
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 4/8/2007 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I had a radical prostatectomy in Nov. 06 at age 54 and the post-op pathology found that I had a
focally positive margin so my doctor had me see a radiologist. Of course he is suggesting
radiation therapy.

As a side note, ironically, in preparing for treatments he ordered a CT scan and found
a small mass on my right kidney, totally unrelated to my prostate cancer. I had a partial
nephectomy four weeks ago and the post-op pathology found that I once again had
positive margins. So the course of action is a close watch and a possible total nephrectomy.

Anyway, I'm going to start radiation treatments (IMRT) in a week or so for my PC and I have
a few questions.

Does anybody have suggestions to minimize the side effects of radiation treatments?
Diet? Exercise? I'm going to start acupuncture treatments to boost my immune system,
I don't know if it will help but I do know it won't do any harm.

In the short term side effects, is the diarrhea and fatigue that bad? I plan to continue working
as I'm self employed.

What long term side effects have people experienced?

Any info would be most appreciated.


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 411
   Posted 4/8/2007 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ken,

Welcome to the forum. Sorry about your positive margins and the kidney problem.

JetGuy has a good, comprehensive thread on his radiation therapy. Although, in his case it was the primary treatment, not after surgery.

There are also a couple posters on here facing postive margins after surgery (hawkfan, TCLasVegas) come to immediate mind. I am sure they will be along to read your post.

In the meantime I will "bump" the relevant threads to you so you can find them easier at the top. As it is Easter, it might be kinda slow for posters today, but those threads should give you some information.

Hope ya stick around with us. It is a great forum with people with wide and varied experiences.

Tanya and Ken
Significant other diagnosed: 10/30/06
PSA: 3.7 (up from 3.4 prior year)
Gleason: 3+3
Biopsy: 1/10 positive, 5% cancerous, right apex.
Da Vinci Scheduled: 4/10/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 444
   Posted 4/8/2007 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ken

Sorry to hear what you are going through. I am finishing up proton radiation treatment (my only treatment). You can read my thread entitled Proton Radiation Therapy - My Journey With Prostate Cancer which spells out some of the side effects I have experienced during treatment. http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=726381

I would have to describe the side effects as annoying at times, but manageable. I have not had any diarrhea--just more frequent bowel movements at times. There are at least two other members here who have posted their experiences with x-ray radiation (IMRT/IGRT) and will probably also respond to your post, so I don't want to speak for them. Good Luck!

68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.

Post Edited (pcdave) : 4/9/2007 7:14:38 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 4/9/2007 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Ken,

I recently completed 43 ratiation treatments over a period of a little over two months.  I received 77.4 Grays.  I have no idea how different our treatments will be.  I have had minimal side effects.  Some fatigue that has persisted, but is getting better.  Some loose stool that persists, but is also improving.  No urinary issures, but please note that I take Flomax.

I exercise almost every day, but I'm not certain that's a good idea if you must work while being treated.  You might want to ask your urologist.  I exercised prior to my treatment, I just continued during my treatment, but I'm not working. 

I added more protein to my diet.  I eat a diet heavy in fruit and vegetables which tend to a loose stool.  That and it's my understanding that protein promotes the healing of damaged tissue caused me to think that more protein would help.  Don't know if it did, but I'm doing well.

I don't know why I'm doing well.  Maybe it's because I'm otherwise healthy, or because I exercised, or ate well, or drank water before each treatment, or was just dumb *** lucky.  Who knows.  I do know that the idea of doing all that I could to help myself made me more confident and determined.

If I can otherwise help, please ask, but beware that I know nothing about medicine.  I only know what happened to me and what I did.

Best to you, Ken,


Gleason 3+3=6, T1c, one core in twelve, another pre-cancerous.
62 years old and good health.  Married 37 years.  To same woman!
Began IGRT January 23, 2007. 

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