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IMRT Treatment

Jonkny's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi everyone. Unfortunately, I am a new member here. I am 64 and was diagnosed as Stage 1 in March. My PSA was 4.1, Gleason was 6 (3+3), and I had no symptoms. I chose IMRT (Varian machine) because I couldn't be close to my granddaughter for three months if I had the seeds.

Can anyone fill me in as to side effects during treatment? I start my first of 44 doses of radiation on Tuesday and hope to be prepared as best I can.

Thanks and Good Luck to everyone.

Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

Here's an interesting patient "booklet" that I found about IMRT that was paid for by a Grant from the California Department of Justice, Antitrust Law Section, from litigation settlement funds to benefit Californians diagnosed with cancer or their families (which I thought was intriguing -- What law suit?):


It's pretty basic but is designed for the prospective IMRT patient and goes over most of the things you should consider before, during and after treatment, including possible side effecs and what to do about them. Hope you find it useful.

I also found an interesting report that just came out last month which concludes that IMRT is "better" than proton beam therapy (PBT). This has nothing to do w/your situation (since you've already chosen IMRT) but others here may find the article interesting. Of course, PBT facilities and practicioners are up in arms about the study:



Good luck w/your IMRT treatment!

Jonkny's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

Thanks very much for the information!

Best of Luck to you and your family.

Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2010

Jonkny I had very similar statistics as you and also chose IMRT as my primary treatment. I finished my treatments in October 2010 and I am happy to say everything is fine. As far as side effects, I think each person will be different. During treatments about the second or third week I experienced urinary side effects such as urgency and freguent trips to the bathroom. Dr. prescribed flomax which took care of these symptoms. Toward the end of the treatments and for around the next 6 months the bowel side effects showed up. These included loose stool and freguent bowel movements, up to 6 or 7 a day. The good news is that all of this has disappeared. I quit taking flomax about a month after finishing treatments. No more urgency or getting up at night for a trip to the bathroom. The bowel symptoms slowly diappeared and I am back to normal in that department. The radiation irritates everything in the pelvic area and it just takes time to heal.

ED is normal I think for radiation, but it has been taken care of with Cialis in my case. One more thing I will share, in case you have not been told, is that you will produce less semen and some folks will have completely dry orgasims. My volume is about a third of what it was prior to treatments.

All in all I am happy with my choice and continue to get low PSA results. Good luck to you.

Posts: 89
Joined: May 2012

I am 81. I had 30 2.3 gy IMRT treatments and not a single side effect. I felt a little tired half way through, that's all. It is 2 months since the treatment finished. Still nothing. You are much younger than me so don't worry. However the effects of hormone therapy were terrible and I had to stop after 3 months.
Good luck

Jonkny's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

You gave me a lot of encouragement. I look forward to doing as well!!!

So far so good after nine treatments.

I will keep you up to date.

Thank again!

Jonkny's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

Nine treatments to go!!! So far so good!
Only side effect so far has been lightheadedness about two hours after treatment-But that goes away quickly
Hopefully things will continue this way!!!

VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3407
Joined: Nov 2010


I wish you good in this last dash to victory. You will win the race and defeat the bandit.
Could you narrate about any event/side effect you experienced along your journey and how have you overcome them.

Hopefully you recover well and turn the last page of your “book” the soonest.


Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2012

I don't want to scare you but my huband had 45 IMRT treatments. About halfway through he started getting burning with urination and pain with bowel movements. Toward the end of his treatments, bowel movements became excruciating eventhough his stools were soft. According to my husband, IMRT inflames your insides and everything that goes through feels like it's on fire. He also had a lot of cramping. It's been 2 months and he's still having high pain issues in the bathroom. About once a week, I can hear him screaming and some times crying from pain. He's a tough guy and never cried from pain until he had IMRT. He's also 60 years old. The doctors are telling us that it could be another month until he feels normal again. They didn't warn us about this upfront. If we had known, we would have chosen Brachy. Anyway, I hope this helps and good luck with whatever path you take.

Jonkny's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2012

Although I answered your subsequent post, I wanted to add that I chose an external radiation treatment because with the seeds you become radioactive. This would have prevented me hugging or holding my granddaughter for 3 months. I could not live with that!!!

I t became a no brainer for me

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

in 2005. i have 38 times imrt treatment.

the psa level dropped below 4.

in 2009 the psa rise again until 2010 to 16. ie the imrt fail.

in 2010 mid oct, i did prostatectomy. the nightmare start.

2 weeks later, my urine are full of blood( hematuria) and my urethra was blocked. i went to hospital to have cystoscopy.

this is not the last cystoscopy i did. as long as i remember i have been in hospital at least 5 times. one of them is in xmas eve.

my urologist said my bladder is damaged during the imrt. he said the bladder inside is like a moon. it is full of loose veins and tissue.

now, i am still suffer from hematuria.

as far as i know, there is no medical treatment for my bladder.

i hope you should ask your doctor for this side effects.

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2013

I had 35 radiation treatments in 2002, when I was 64 years old, and had no side effects that I can recall.  Well, except for weight gain.  But that was because I had had a heart transplant in 1999 and trying to take my meds at the same time each day, took a peanut butter and honey sandwich to eat after each early morning treatment.  So the weight went up, but not because of the treatments themselves.

Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2011

Jonkny, Being from Northern CA I grew up on peanut butter and blackberry sandwiches. Honey is awesome as well, up until now I had no idea how to handle questions about having one for dessert at night. Thank you fora good reason for doing great sandwiches. I walk 2.5 miles a day to compensate. Mike

I apologize if I offended anyone.  I saw honey sandwiches and knew I had a soulmate.  As far as pain goes, and damages if they told us in advance we might not go forward with treatment.  I am sorry for everyones pain.  My pain is weird.  It has a special name, but it is just like everyone eleses. I am sure we would all not wish this on anyone.  

We are so lucky to have this website to share info.  If we did not educate ourselves each of us would be in the dark regarding treatments, post treatment problems, and we would not meet great people with really great knowledge.  Hats off to Vasco and Kongo for their knowledge and their willingness to share it with us.

Pain is bad at times, but we only have eachother to share knowledge, and it just might save someone from ED, incontinence, or death. How lucky we are to have eachother.



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