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How Do You Prepare For Radiation?

How do you successfully prep for radiation treatment when suffering side effects of diarrhea, dehydration, and loss of electrolytes?

I'm 68 years old. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer last February with a PSA of 16, positive biopsies 10 out of 10, and a Gleason score of 4+3=7. I immediately started Lupron and was supposed to start radiation treatment in March. COVID-19 restrictions at the hospital delayed that until June. Today I completed session 22 of 42. But, I am experiencing the side effect of severe diarrhea (now for more than 4 weeks and continuing). I'm trying to deal with it using Immodium and drinking Gatorade Zero. But, unlike being able to wave my hand at my command, ensuring that my bowel is empty and my bladder is full at the same time every morning is a much more difficult achievement.

Does or has anyone else had a similar problem? How did you deal with it?

  1. Hi GeorgeM. Sorry you are having these side effect issues. Have you had a chance to discuss with your doctor the difficulty you are having preparing for the sessions? As noted in this FAQ on radiation therapy from UCLA Health "Sometimes a course of treatment is interrupted for a day or more. This may happen if you develop side effects that require a break in treatment:" https://www.uclahealth.org/radonc/radiation-therapy-faqs#happens. Of course, only your doctor can determine if this may be required in your case. I personally know of a couple of people that needed treatment breaks. Hoping you get some answers to help you get through the remainder of your treatment. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

    1. Thanks. Yes, I've spoken with the doctor, oncology nurses, and a nutritionist. I'm told my problem happens to some. Still working on the issue. So far, a low fiber diet following food combing is working best. Morning - fruit, mid-morning - carbs such as a muffin, lunch - carbs with veggies, mid-afternoon - carb or protein snack NOT BOTH, evening - protein and veggies. Eating the fruit first let's it push quickly through my system. Then splitting the tougher carbs and protein is less stress on my digestion. I eat the protein last as it takes the longest to digest. This is helping, though not a total resolution.

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