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Questions to ask your Doctor: If you’re Considering Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Radiation involves the killing of cancer cells and surrounding tissues with directed radioactive exposure.  Some forms of radiation therapy can also be used in men with advanced, or recurrent, prostate cancer.  Here are some questions to ask your doctor if you are considering radiation therapy.

  • What radiation technique will be used?
  • Based on your experience, why is this form of radiation the right treatment for me?
  • What side effects should I expect?
  • Are there specific radiation therapy approaches that we should discuss or consider?
  • What dose of radiation will be used, and how was the dose of radiation selected?
  • Will I be able to work while I’m getting treatments?
  • Will I need hormonal therapy as well as the radiation? How long will hormone treatment last if it is combined with radiation? Why do you recommend this? Will I get my potency back after this treatment is over?
  • What rate of success have you had in preserving potency in your patients following this type of treatment?
  • What about preserving bladder control and bowel continence? Are there other bowel side effects I should be concerned about?
  • What can I expect following the treatments in terms of recovery time?
  • Are there delayed side effects that may appear over time?
  • When will we know if my cancer has gone away? How often will I be checked?