I see this often recommended here.
My rad team was opposed to this.
Even though the possibility of bladder damage is possible.
Everyone should check with their rad team first
I have found in my time participating on blogs and forums that people are getting all kinds of orders from their doctors on this subject. I was told I needed to have a full bladder.
MD Anderson now places the dilator in vagina during radiation to raise the genitalia and perhaps the bladder out of the field of radiation. they started that one month after me so i do have scar tissue and radiation damage in bladder ( had to get a cystoscope to check problems). good reason because by genetalia swelled up to about 5 times their size and it was horrible. sephie
They did the same for me. But fortunately no bladder damage.
When I went for planning they had put a tampon(well I put it there per their instructions) . They tattooed me. At that time I asked about the full bladder they said no, because, they did not know if I would be able to hold it, it might interrupt session, if i had to go. Anyway, there is a little more to the story. They used the tampon for planning, but never put anything in there during treatment. After a bit my bladder started to leak continuously. Then they did replanning, new tattoos and we started over. I had no brakes, spent a lot of time on that table, having treatment, cts and adjustments. The urinary leakage continued for many weeks, dripping on the burned areas of my anus I have no leakage now either vaginally or from my anus. My cancer is gone. I suffered much but I am cured. Communication with your team is very important. Mistakes Can be made.
I had imrt but not the most updated machine.
My message is check with your oncologist, dialators, full bladder, whatever questions you have and if something does not feel right during your treatment, question it!
I'm experiencing terrible pain in the clitoris, since week 4 of radiation for Stage 1 Anal Cancer.
I haven't read anything about this in the blogs. I'm wondering if there is a way to protect the clitoris during this treatment.
i was at MD Anderson and nothing was protected. every part of my female genitalia swelled to about 5 times their size and bled and hurt. but once radiation stopped, they started going down and healing. of course, that was 3 years ago and they have learned more by now. sephie
I have been told that I need to have a full bladder for treatment. I have a PET scan this coming Wed 9/5 and CT planing/ staging and need to have full bladder when this is done. My instructions for daily radition is to empty bladder 1 hr prior to appointment and then to drink 16 oz of water and not to void until after radiation tx completed.
I am having IMRT, for 7 cm anal tumore and Radiation MD explained that full bladder pushed the small intestine out of the radiated field and will decrease symtpoms involving small bowel radiation\.
I was not told to have a full bladder or dilator/tampon inserted (treated 1.5yrs ago). I now have excessive scar tissue and most of my pelvic organs have fused together. I am seeing a specialist at a hospital 3hrs from home in preparation for a robotic hysterectomy. It is complicated due to possible risks to my bladder now. (already have a colostomy hoping for reversal) A year after my treatment I had an appointment with a new GYN who specializes in cervical cancer treatment and he said that when radiating for that they always pack the vagina with moist gauze and recommend a full bladder. He could not tell me why it was not more of a standard for anal radiation. There are some differences in treatment that way both past and present, so seems to be yet a grey area as to if it helps or not?????
But I drank water so much that it was probably full or close to it for radiation every morning. Some fusion of the uterus to the vaginal wall. Not problematic, though. 1.5 years post.
I mentioned the "full bladder" to my radiation oncologist and he said no to it. I don't think I would have been able to do it anyway. By the time they got me positioned on the table and went through 19 beams, it took about 45 minutes. A full bladder would not have been a good idea for me.
3 months post treatment and I haven't noticed any problems with any bladder issues.