Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Pain After Radiation Seed Treatment

Monday, 22 June 2009 03:47 PM

Question: I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and was treated with radiation seeds. After the procedure, I was told I had radiation enteritis. I have taken powerful pain medications in the past, but it didn't help the horrific pain I still have in the groin area. Can you help me?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Radiation enteritis refers to radiation damage to the bowel, combined with chronic inflammation. The condition, which is characterized by a watery diarrhea, is difficult to manage. When caused by radioactive seed implantation, it usually settles down after several weeks but occasionally takes several months. While it is unusual for seed implantation to generate a severe reaction, it is definitely a problem for some.

The radioactive doses used in prostatic seed implantation usually are calculated carefully to irradiate the prostatic tissue selectively. Newer variations remove the radiation after each treatment and avoid much of the nuisance problems seen with seed implantation. Persistent groin pain is unusual. I recommend seeking further evaluation to verify that no other conditions are being overlooked

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