Radiation Therapy

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Radiologists Perform State-of-the-Art Techniques for Bladder Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is another form of bladder cancer treatment that a UH Seidman Cancer Center physician may prescribe. This method uses high-dose X-rays and various other forms of radiation to destroy cancer cells.

Radiation may be used as an alternative therapy if a patient cannot have surgery; conversely, the therapy may be utilized in conjunction with a surgical procedure to prevent bladder cancer from recurring.

Forms of Radiation

There are various types of radiation that are utilized to treat a patient's bladder cancer, including:

  • External beam radiation: a procedure in which beams of radiation are delivered to the tissue over a number of sessions. This painless and precise treatment kills the bladder cancer tumor cells.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy: uses radiation system scans to verify the patient's position, anatomy and tumor location, helping ensure the accuracy of each procedure.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy: can change the size, shape and intensity of the radiation beam to conform to the size, shape and location of a patient's tumor.

What to Expect After Radiation

Every individual will react to radiation differently. For some patients, radiation symptoms do not appear until the treatments are completed. Common side effects include:

  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain or discomfort while urinating
  • Bladder inflammation or scarring
  • Urinary discomfort
  • Sexual dysfunction (for men and women)

Patients should discuss any discomfort or side effects with their UH Seidman Cancer Center doctor or nurse who may be able to provide drugs or other treatments to help.

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