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Radiation Cystitus Diagnosis and Blood in the Urine


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Hi Everyone: I would like to bring to the attention of members the possibility of contracting radiation cystitis as a result of radiation treatment. I have now been diagnosed with this complication after ongoing urinary infections and the development over the past six months of episodes of gross haematuria. Prior to my diagnoses I went looking for information regarding blood in the urine and was surprised that I was unable to find any reference on this site regarding the issue. I have since correlated a fair amount of information on the subject and would like to share this here for future reference for other unfortunate radiation patients.


Radiation Cystitis is a rare complication of the bladder caused by treatment of radiation therapy to the pelvic region. Reports indicate it may occur in approx. 7% to 10% of prostate cancer patients undergoing this procedure. The side effects of treatment can be immediate and acute or perhaps develop months or years after completion of treatment. In some cases radiation side effects can be resolved fairly easily but in other cases they may be more difficult to treat and this can have lasting effects on a patients quality of life and there is a possibility of mortality from urinary blockages causing kidney problems and also a life threatening infection called urosepsis.


Modern radiotherapy techniques have improved the focus of the beams and can be modulated so that less radiation is delivered to the more sensitive areas around the prostate. This reduces the likelihood of long term tissue damage but problems can still occur.


Radiotherapy can damage the soft tissue and blood vessels lining the bowel or bladder this reduces the blood supply to these areas so that when treatment is completed these blood vessels and soft tissue do not have enough blood supply to support efficient healing causing necrosis.


In my case I developed recurring pelvic and urinary infections since my TURP procedure in 2012. I completed IMRT radiation treatment in December 2012 and my PSA remains at 0.02 as of today so things appear OK on the prostate cancer side. However for the past six months I have experienced some bleeding along with clots in my urine from time to time and this culminated in February this year with a massive bleed. The event was very painful and distressing as for several hours I continued to bleed and pass clots some of which blocked my urethra until the pressure became strong enough to pass them through.  


Last week after many previous delays I finally had a procedure called a cystoscopy that diagnosed confirmation of radiation induced bladder wall bleeding with multiple telangiectasia ( spider vein type blood vessels) noted on bladder wall. The urologist has now referred me to a radiation oncologist.From my readings the only real successful treatment available for this condition is treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.


So I have now outlined this subject from a first hand point of view. I will follow this up after my next consultation with the radiation oncologist and any subsequent treatment. My lovely wife and carer has reminded me of the following and it is worth repeating here as I finish up this article.


After my prostate cancer diagnosis and regarding the decision making process we had to make. We made our decision based on advice from specialists and our own rushed but thorough learning curve of radiation coupled with ADT. We were aware of the radiation consequences just as we were aware of the surgical and ADT consequences but at the time there really was no other alternative. Today having come this far down the track experiencing most of the side effects we read about then and now here we are with this issue we need to deal with: BUT WE WOULD STILL MAKE THE SAME TREATMENT DECISION TODAY.




 I apologise but it seems I cannot cut and paste web link addresses to this article. Perhaps Nev or Jim can explain to me what the problem may be. If I can resolve it I will add the links later

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Great post, Lee!


Alan B

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Thanks Alan: My main aim was to have something here on this site on record for the future.Thanks Mate for the comment I appreciate your support.



aka Popeye

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  • 2 weeks later...

A brief update on my original post regarding Radiation Cystitis. I have seen the visiting radiation oncologist here in Mackay and he has verified much of what I previously reported. I got the impression that this type of side effect on the bladder is not seen very often these days but bowel issues may be common.

The next step for me is dependant on a call from the staff who run the hyperbaric chamber and the arrangements they will need to make with me. As for the bleeds over the past few weeks, they have been minor with only the odd clot appearing from time to time.


I will continue to update this information as treatment unfolds for me regarding the cystitis. As for everything else with the cancer and my treatment, it is fairly stable for the moment. However I will update my status in the my story section as it has been a while since I updated that section.


Lee aka Popeye 

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