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Continuing to Work While Receiving RT

Yank31's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2013

Has anyone experienced serious problems by continuing to work while undergoing radiation therapy?

If I have to receive SRT starting in mid-September, will it be possible to still work 5 days a week? SRT normally requires one treatment a day, 5 days a week for about 7 to 9 weeks, I believe. The decision is not final. I am just trying to get a grip on what to expect, should SRT become necessary.

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 1592
Joined: Nov 2010

I had SRT (IMRT) to the pelvic area and prostate fossa, for a total dosage of 68Gy in 37 fractions, in 2006; I never experienced incontinence or pain, and never felt fatigue (played golf on weekends) or nausea. I had a sensation of burning pain on my fifths’ week of treatment when urinating and the stool became much liquefied with traces of blood (proctitis). These side effects were treated and gone in three month post treatment.

The radiotherapy was simple and not scary at all. The treatment was done in a modern IMRT facility. The daily sections become a kind of a routine. One hour in advance I would drink lots of water to fill the bladder (it helps in minimizing the side effects), and then I would drive to the clinic (50km far from my home). There, I would dress a light gown and lay face up on the machine’s stretcher while the beam head would move around me stopping here and there to deliver the rays. All actions and movements were controlled by the staff in their computer screens live, in a separate room. Each session would take approximately 15 to 20 minutes (2 to 4 minutes under radiation). I wasn’t working but the treatment did not impair any activity I wanted to do.

I recommend you to avoid, for a long period (during and after the treatment), drinking tea or take any supplement that acts similarly to an antioxidant because it will give a chance to cancer cells to recuperate from the “RT blow”. You may inquire with your oncologist in this regard.



Yank31's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2013


Thanks for your prompt reply. Many important decisions to make this week in re: work schedules.

The advice about ingesting anti-oxidants during and after treatment is something I have not heard about, and something I will definitely ask about. As usual, your help is prompt and spot on.

Many thanks.

YTW's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2010

Yank:  I totally agree with VG.  I underwent radiation about 4 years ago.  My R.O. at the time advised me to stop taking any supplements that act as anti-oxidents.  His theory was that anti-oxidents keep cells from dying which include the Ca cells that the radiation is trying to destroy.  He recommended that I not use these supplements for at least a month after my treatments have ended.  I obstainerd for about three months just to be safe.  My supplements were Vitamin E (which I no longer take) C and multi-vitamins. Also green tea.  Best of luck..............................................Jimmy/Cleveland

Yank31's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Dec 2013

Hi, Jim

I am also a big fan of antioxidants. Thanks for the advice. At present I am taking green tea and changing my diet leaning heavily toward fruits, vegetables, and juices with antioxidant properties. I am also taking Calcium, Zinc, and Vitamin E.


hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1357
Joined: Apr 2009

It was thought that the Vitamin E and Selenium was good for you and prevented prostate cancer so the National Institute did a study (the SELECT study) among 35,000 men to document the positive effects of these supplements. The study was scheduled for seven years, but was stopped midway since it showed that these drugs promoted prostate cancer and dide not diminish as hoped for .  There was also a follow up study by the Cleveland Clinic that confirmed the negative effects of Vitamin E.





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