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Myths and Truths

MYTH #1: Receiving radiation treatment means that I will become radioactive and I won’t be able to be around my family and friends while receiving treatment.

TRUTH: Patients receiving radiation treatment do not become radioactive. The therapies are targeted to the cancerous tissue. At no time will you pose any risk to your family and friends.


MYTH #2: I know that if I get radiation therapy I will lose control of my bladder and also experience erectile dysfunction. It’s inevitable.

TRUTH: Many patients – both men and women – have concerns about urinary incontinence and/or sexual dysfunction following radiation treatment. In fact, most radiation patients are at relatively low risk for urinary incontinence or leakage after treatment. If that does occur, Skyline Urology has some of the world’s leading experts in urinary incontinence ready to assist you with a comprehensive array of treatment options. Those patients who experience sexual dysfunction – such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or other concerns – should know that this is another side effect that can be addressed medically if it occurs. The majority of patients who receive radiation alone do not experience this side effect.


MYTH #3: My hair will fall out with radiation therapy.

TRUTH: While hair loss is relatively common with certain kinds of chemotherapy, it is not the case with radiation therapy. Hair loss or thinning is dependent on the area of the body being treated with radiation. For prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy, for example, hair loss or thinning would be limited to the pelvic region.


MYTH #4: Radiation treatments are painful.

TRUTH: Many patients are concerned about pain during treatment, but you can be assured that radiation therapy is painless – you cannot feel it or see it. Fatigue – feelings of tiredness – is a potential side effect of radiation therapy, but it is not experienced by every patient and is not accompanied by pain.