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Continuing to Work While Receiving RT

Yank31's picture
Posts: 31
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: 1780
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: 31
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: 67
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: 31
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: 1542
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.





Tony555's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2015

Hello my name is Tony and I am about to start RT. I read your comments and was wondering if during your therapy did they use a rectal cathiter to stablize the prostate? I start RT next week and I am being told that one will be required for each treatment.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1542
Joined: Apr 2009


First , wish you the best with the radiation therapy that you will start receiving next week.

I'm not sure what radiation type you will be receiving...IMRT, SBRT, Proton, etc?, localized or salvage treatment so it is hard to give an answer to your question.

For IMRT type therapy, some doctors use a spacer. This may cut side effects from the therapy.


I'm not completely familiar with proton therapy, but in the past ballons were used to stabilize the prostate; now something else is used (but I'm not knowledgeable of what is used now a days. 

If you wish please feel free to share your diagnosis numbers.







Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1538
Joined: May 2012


I just spent several months researching possible first-line radiation therapy for my prostate cancer.  I read a few books and met a radiation oncologist for about an hour, but I have never heard of a "stabalizing device." We went over IMRT and IGRT pretty extensively. I have heard of locator devices being inserted into the gland itself, and my Cancer Center was about to begin with a new "Calipso" machine, which actually electronically transmits the gland's position to a sensor, which sounds a little like what you are discussing.  I am interested to hear what your doc was describing, but can't help much at this point, unfortunately.

The doctor told me that with IGRT a session at the clinic would last about 30 to 45 minutes, and that it would not prevent any work or other daily routines at all.


Posts: 39
Joined: Jun 2012

No one has mentioned about working.In jan.2009 Ifound out my psa was 110 and after biopsy said aggressive carcinoma.anyway to make along story short in aug,2009 I had radical surgery with no problems except erectile dysfunction.My psa was .01 afterwards but began slowly climbing till in2011 it was.06 and informed I would need salvage radiation.June 2011 I began 35 treatments 5 times aweek.Ihad no side affects during or after the radiation and every day after treatments I went to work as usual. my psa now is .011 and feeling fine. Pray you do fine.

Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2013

I worked through my 9 week treatment with little problems. I had soft stools and occasional rectal sunburn but used lotion provided by the Dr. Been almost 2 years now and PSA is still undetecable.

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