What are the possible bladder complications of conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for prostate cancer?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Isamettin Andrew Aral, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

During conventional radiotherapy, the entire bladder is usually treated, and this can cause adverse effects, including urinary frequency, urgency, and, less frequently, incontinence. Patients commonly experience dysuria, which can be lessened with increased fluid consumption. Hematuria occasionally occurs but should be carefully evaluated to ensure that an occult urinary tract infection is not present.

Whether other associated urinary tract symptoms (eg, frequency and urgency) are due to bladder or urethral irritations is often difficult to discern. Regardless, both symptoms occur quite frequently during EBRT and are seen throughout the continuum of radiotherapy (ie, from conventional therapy to IMRT). This observation supports the importance of urethral irritation to both urgency and frequency.


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