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Radiation First week down

So last week I had the SpaceOAR rectal spacer and fiducial markers inserted.
My Radiation Oncologist also put me on a prophylactic 50mg daily dose of sildenafil (Viagra) starting 3 days before treatment and continuing until the end.

Had my simulation and first radiation treatments for my Gleason (3+3) this week. 2.5 Gy X 28 treatments = 70Gy in total on a VMAT linac. So far so good. Treatments are less than 15 minutes in total, probably closer to 10 minutes

The only thing I have noticed so far is that my urine stream keeps getting worse. The doc says that it's somewhat normal due to the biopsy, SpaceOAR and fiducial markers irritating the prostate. He says that may get worse when the full effects of the radiation treatment kick in and cause further irritation. Might have to go on Flomax if it gets much worse...

  1. Congrats alan226 on completing week 1! I was diagnosed as 3+4, and chose external beam radiation which I finished in June of 2021. I also had the markers and SpaceOAR. My treatment program was 3 Gy x 20 treatments. By week 2 of treatment my Radiation Oncologist put me on Flomax, which has worked like a charm for me, even today.
    After about 1 week of treatment I was feeling tired, which increased throughout the course of treatment. 1 month after treatment my energy returned, so that was no big deal.
    After my 2nd treatment I started experiencing a lot of gas, even though I was taking GasX. A nurse suggested Pepcid on an "as needed" basis, which helped. I also had loose stools and learned to avoid spicy, heavy, fiber-intense foods, which helped. These digestive issues have slowly improved.
    Overall, I am happy with the choices I made and would choose to do the same again. Any side-effects encountered are vastly preferable to the alternative of non-treatment.
    I wish you well on your own journey, and many hope to hear more about your experiences.

    1. Pete, thanks for sharing that info. I'm at the beginning of this journey. I'm a 3+4 fellow, just completed bicalutamide x 30 days, and have had 1 (6-month) injection of Lupron. I have had no side effects so far. I will have radiation consult on 8 September; hopefully will begin 5 weeks of treatments soon thereafter. Your post gives me a better idea of what to expect, as I am normally an active member of my local American Legion post, including Honor Guard duties. I may take those five weeks "off", as a precaution. Best wishes for your continued recovery!

  2. great info!!!

    Any side effects with the Flomax?
    There seems to be conflicting advice about dietary fiber. I've seen multiple blogs about using things like Metamucil to "keep things going" during treatment....

    1. I have done well with both Metamucil and Benefiber - the latter dissolves into any liquid even water without a trace vs the orange drink of Meta.. All about personal choice

  3. side effects from Flomax. My Radiation Oncologist had me trying to stop taking it a few times and it got worse, so I resumed taking it. He told me some men use it "forever" with no side effects. It's been a game-changer for me. I urinate better than before treatment. If/when it becomes an issue, talk to your Dr.
    Regarding fiber, this may be an issue you need to see what works best for you. For me, I still need to limit fiber, and take over the counter Senna, laxative and Probiotic, all recommended by my Radiation Oncologist. One of the good things my cancer center did was have each patient meet with their Radiation Oncologist each week while in treatment to review side effects and discuss solutions. These were great, and definitely made things better.
    Stay strong. Looking back, while it's only been a year ago, it also seems like it was so long ago. Get through it. Best wishes...

    1. Hi Pete, I have had similar dosage of radiation similar to you ( 3 Gy x 20) and radiation technique similar to Alan226 (VMAT), I’ve finished my session in mid April and done first PSA test end of June and as I’ve posted in my thread (sharing my radiation experience) my first PSA dropped from 12.8 to 7.04… And btw I had no hormone therapy and straight radiation.. Just to compare notes I was wondering what was your PSA prior to radiation and also the reading for your first 3 months PSA test.


    2. Dont overlook the need to drink water in larger volumes than normal -

  4. PariB...just before treatment my PSA was 8.7. One month after treatment it was 6.x. Three months later it had dropped to 1.8. Six months later (April 2022) it was 1.3.

    1. That is good new Pete R dropping is good 😀

    2. thanks. Dennis. My Radiation Oncologist and Urologist are both pleased with the results, although both continue to remind me that long term trends are important.

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