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What to ask your doctor about prostate cancer radiotherapy

Men and women discussing prostate cancer

Some questions you may want to ask your doctor

  • Why are you recommending radiotherapy for me?
  • What type of radiotherapy do you recommend?
  • Should I have external or internal radiotherapy?
  • Is the radiotherapy that changes the shape and strength of the radiotherapy beam to fit the cancer (IMRT) suitable for me?
  • I've heard of a type of radiotherapy that uses scans to check the position of the cancer during treatment. Is this suitable for me?
  • What is the aim of my treatment?
  • Will the treatment cure my cancer?
  • Are there other treatments I could have instead of radiotherapy?
  • Should I have hormone therapy as well as radiotherapy?
  • How long will the course of treatment take?
  • Is there any transport available to and from the hospital?
  • Can I get help with paying my travel fares?
  • Is radiotherapy painful?
  • What are the short term and long term side effects?
  • Is there anything I should do to prepare for the treatment?
  • Is there any written information you can give me about this treatment?
  • Will the treatment affect my bladder or bowel and will this get better over time?
  • What is the chance that bowel or bladder problems could be permanent?
  • What are the risks of erection problems after this treatment and is that permanent?
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Updated: 25 February 2014