Acute side effects include:

  • fatigue or tiredness
  • bowel and rectal irritation – this can lead to diarrhoea , frequency of the bowel, nausea and vomiting.
  • bladder problems – including discomfort when passing urine, needing to pass urine more frequently and more urgently
  • skin changes – red, dry and itchy skin in the treatment area
  • hair loss in treatment area
  • vaginal dryness and discharge – this may cause pain and discomfort during intercourse

Late side effects of radiation therapy include:

  • bladder changes – ongoing discomfort on passing urine, more urgency and less control of bladder function
  • small risk of bowel blockage
  • sexual dysfunction – narrowing of the vagina and dryness
  • early menopause
  • infertility
  • lymphoedema
  • rarely: a pelvic fracture or a second cancer

Information and Guidance

Radiotherapy Treatment Process

Click below for a video that shows the external beam radiotherapy treatment process.