Radiation therapy is an increasingly common treatment for prostate cancer. Although radiotherapy is generally effective, it is not free of complications. Acute adverse effects of radiation are usually mild and managed on an outpatient basis. In contrast, long-term complications, although uncommon, may be debilitating or even life-threatening, requiring more invasive treatments or hospitalization. This article will review the pathophysiology of the acute and long-term effects of radiation on the lower urinary tract and implications for WOC nursing management of patients with voiding dysfunction following radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
A review of acute and chronic lower urinary tract complications associated with external beam and interstitial radiation therapy.
Caroline D. Ames, MD, is a Resident Physician in the Department of Urology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Mikel Gray, PhD, CUNP, CCCN, FAAN, is Nurse Practitioner and Associate Professor, Department of Urology and School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Reprint requests: Mikel Gray, PhD, Department of Urology, University of Virginia, PO Box 800422, Charlottesville, VA 22908.