Urological Complications after Radiation Therapy

Dear All,

Radiation-induced urological complications were first reported in 1927 by AL Dean.

Several patients with Pelvic Organ Malignancies receive RT as the main primary treatment or as a part of the treatment. Extension of patient’s life with RT, due to increased effectiveness, makes Complications more common.

The main disadvantage of RT is that it affects both cancer Cells and normal cells located in the area. Though advances in RT technology IMRT, IGRT, CRT and other technologies now available, have provided more accurate RT Delivery to the tumour sparing surrounding structures but the effect on healthy tissues have not been completely eliminated.

The most common pelvic cancers requiring radiotherapy include Prostate Cancer, Rectal Cancer and Anal Cancer in men, and Cervical Cancer and Vulvar Cancer in women. Other tumours that cause urological complications after radiation include Bladder Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Urethral Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Testicular Cancer, and Vaginal cancer.

Damage caused by radiation therapy most often affects the bladder and ureters. The most common radiation complications include Haemorrhagic Cystitis, Urethral and Ureteral Strictures, Urinary Fistulae, and Secondary Primary Malignancies. Less common are Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility, LUTD, bladder fibrosis and necrosis. As a result, chronic kidney disease may develop. Adverse events significantly degrade the quality of life of the patient, and in severe cases can be life threatening to the patient.

An article published in ‘Translational Cancer Research’ by Joanna Chorbińska* et al (2021) on ‘Urological Complications after Radiation Therapy’ address all that we have to know concerning this challenging area and is an article well worth reading and preservation.

https://tcr.amegroups.com/article/view/48625/html (PDF available)

Though we talk about RT induced Urological Complications, we seldom give much thought on this.

With warm regards,




  • Dr. Roy Chally
    Dr. Roy Chally
    25 Mar 2021 04:49:37 PM

    The complications of lower urinary tract after radiotherapy is covered well. Techniques to deliver the radiation has improved but we still see many late complications after radiotherapy. The tragedy is that these complications affect the quality of life more frequently for lifelong. 

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