Side effects may last only as long as the treatment, or they may continue and become chronic. Some side effects occur after treatment, such as erection problems. For some men, this problem gets gradually worse over the course of several years after treatment. The long-term effects of radiation therapy on the main body systems are not yet known. Side effects include:
- An irritated rectum that can cause an urgent need to pass stool. This is called proctitis.
- An inflamed bladder and urination problems. This is called cystitis.
- An inflamed intestine and diarrhea. This is called enteritis.
- Being unable to have an erection. This is called impotence.
- Being unable to control urination. This is called incontinence.
- Painful urination. This is called dysuria.
- Bleeding from the rectum or blood in the urine.
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