Continence problems that develop in men who are undergoing conformal radiotherapy for prostate cancer are unlikely to remain with them for more than two years, according to German scientists.
While the 78 patients surveyed reported significantly increased pain while defecating and rectal mucous discharge during therapy, it typically returned to pre-treatment levels within eight weeks to one year of treatment.
The urge to defecate remained elevated for up to a year after therapy and rectal bleeding was significant for up to two years, but eventually returned to baseline levels.
The researchers concluded that the rate of long-term radiation-related intestinal toxicity was low.
- Longitudinal Study of Intestinal Symptoms and Fecal Continence in Patients with Conformal Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer