Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
Jolene
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:17 am

Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Jolene » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:39 am

Has anyone suffered from any form of urinal incontinence / issues after chemoradiation?

It's been 1.5 years since my pelvic radiation targetting a tumour at the rectum. I first complained about my frequent urination a couple of months back, the first suspect was simply UTI (urinary tract infection). Did a urinal analysis and found some bacteria growth, took antibiotics and got sorted out. However I am feeling a bit of leakage now and again when I thought I had finished doing number 1. They did another urinal analysis and it was inconclusive. The doctor wouldn't call my situation an incontinence one at the moment as it has not gotten to anything serious as yet. I could still control my bladder on most days apart from the wee leakage now and again.

They did however suggested that I go check myself in with a urologist as he is concerned that the radiation might have caused collateral damage and affected the urethra sphincter muscles! (Didn't realise urethra had sphincter muscles as the discussion on this board is often of the rectum) He mentioned that the female urethra sphincter can be quite close to the rectum sphincter.

I know I have to get round to checking in with a urologist soon but just wondering if anyone had anything similar to share? Thanks !
Dx @ 39 F, married
Nov 18 - Dx of a mid-rectal tumour at T3N1M0 (2cm) 7cm from AV
Dec 18 - CRT, 28 sessions + Capecitabine at 3000mg daily
Jan - Mar - Wait and watch in place
Mar 19 - MRI, PET, sig flex and biopsy ordered to determine being a WW candidate.
Apr 19 - CCR. Surgery on hold. 6 cycles of Xelox.
Aug 19 - Completed 6 cycles of Xelox.
Oct 19 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI - clear
Jan 20 - Colonscopy, biopsy, MRI - clear
Jun 20 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI, CT - clear
Jan 21 - Tests scheduled

KimT
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby KimT » Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:07 am

My aunt had pelvic radiation for cervical cancer and it damaged her bladder. She lost her ability to fully empty her bladder and would ‘leak’ as her bladder filled and was no able to hold the urine. Eventually her kidneys failed and she was on dialysis the last 18 months of her life. I would get in to a urologist ASAP. She might have avoided dialysis had she not ignored the issue for as long as she did.
2/10 dx colon cancer
right hemicolectomy 3/19/10
Stage 2a 0/43 nodes
Lynch syndrome
3/14/10 colon resection/ removal of metal clips
Nov 11 dx ovarian cancer

Lee
Posts: 6134
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Lee » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:13 pm

Jolene wrote: . . . . that the radiation might have caused collateral damage and affected the urethra sphincter muscles! (Didn't realise urethra had sphincter muscles as the discussion on this board is often of the rectum) He mentioned that the female urethra sphincter can be quite close to the rectum sphincter.
!


So that is what I felt. Last fall, I started passing a small amount of blood. Assumed it was bladder cancer. The urologist put a camera inside of me to look inside the bladder, All was clear. As the camera is going in, there is a split second of pain, nothing real biggy, just uncomfortable for a split second. So the radiation did not effect my bladder, butt did some serious damage to my vagina.

Butt following my surgery, my bladder went numb for a few months. Could not tell if I needed to urinate or not. Made a point to urinate to every few hours. Numbness went away, all fine after awhile, butt for several years Dr.(s) would ask me about possible bladder issues like leaking.

Do see the urologist, good luck,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 16 years and counting!

Jolene
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Jolene » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:07 pm

KimT wrote:My aunt had pelvic radiation for cervical cancer and it damaged her bladder. She lost her ability to fully empty her bladder and would ‘leak’ as her bladder filled and was no able to hold the urine. Eventually her kidneys failed and she was on dialysis the last 18 months of her life. I would get in to a urologist ASAP. She might have avoided dialysis had she not ignored the issue for as long as she did.


Oh gosh... Sorry to hear about your aunt's situation. I have never thought leakage could lead to a dialysis situation !! Thanks for sharing. I definitely should check in asap. :?
Dx @ 39 F, married
Nov 18 - Dx of a mid-rectal tumour at T3N1M0 (2cm) 7cm from AV
Dec 18 - CRT, 28 sessions + Capecitabine at 3000mg daily
Jan - Mar - Wait and watch in place
Mar 19 - MRI, PET, sig flex and biopsy ordered to determine being a WW candidate.
Apr 19 - CCR. Surgery on hold. 6 cycles of Xelox.
Aug 19 - Completed 6 cycles of Xelox.
Oct 19 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI - clear
Jan 20 - Colonscopy, biopsy, MRI - clear
Jun 20 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI, CT - clear
Jan 21 - Tests scheduled

Jolene
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Jolene » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:11 pm

Lee wrote:So that is what I felt. Last fall, I started passing a small amount of blood. Assumed it was bladder cancer. The urologist put a camera inside of me to look inside the bladder, All was clear. As the camera is going in, there is a split second of pain, nothing real biggy, just uncomfortable for a split second. So the radiation did not effect my bladder, butt did some serious damage to my vagina.

Butt following my surgery, my bladder went numb for a few months. Could not tell if I needed to urinate or not. Made a point to urinate to every few hours. Numbness went away, all fine after awhile, butt for several years Dr.(s) would ask me about possible bladder issues like leaking.

Do see the urologist, good luck,

Lee


I think it's the thought of inserting a camera through my urethra that's freaking me out and hence I'm reluctant to go check in with a urologist as soon as I should be.

Sorry to hear about the vagina damage. :( This damn thing is causing collateral damage everywhere ! Sigh.

How did a bladder check end up with checking your vagina though ? Or was it a seperate gynae check-up ?

I'm going to make an appointment soon !
Dx @ 39 F, married
Nov 18 - Dx of a mid-rectal tumour at T3N1M0 (2cm) 7cm from AV
Dec 18 - CRT, 28 sessions + Capecitabine at 3000mg daily
Jan - Mar - Wait and watch in place
Mar 19 - MRI, PET, sig flex and biopsy ordered to determine being a WW candidate.
Apr 19 - CCR. Surgery on hold. 6 cycles of Xelox.
Aug 19 - Completed 6 cycles of Xelox.
Oct 19 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI - clear
Jan 20 - Colonscopy, biopsy, MRI - clear
Jun 20 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI, CT - clear
Jan 21 - Tests scheduled

Lee
Posts: 6134
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Lee » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:03 pm

Jolene wrote:
I think it's the thought of inserting a camera through my urethra that's freaking me out and hence I'm reluctant to go check in with a urologist as soon as I should be.


How did a bladder check end up with checking your vagina though ? Or was it a seperate gynae check-up ?

I'm going to make an appointment soon !


They can knock you out if you want. I was told an anesthesiologist comes in once a month for people who are concerned about it being painful. It's about 40% who want to be knocked out vs 60% (like me), let's just get this done ASAP. I was thinking I had cancer, to be put under would have meant waiting another month for conformation. Did not want to do that. I too was scared about the possible pain. The whole procedure take 30 seconds. Once Urologist got to the bladder, it was interesting to watch on the screen & he was explaining what every thing was.

I saw the GYN during this time, it had been awhile since my last visit. Female reproductive organ are gone, so guess it's not necessary to get check one a year. Anyway I told the GYN what was going and maybe she could see something unusual. Except for the serious scar tissue in that one area, everything was fine.

I understand your fear regarding the camera, butt believe me, I can have more pain in the dentist office than that procedure.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 16 years and counting!

Twindaze
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:25 am
Facebook Username: Jenny Ge

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Twindaze » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:30 am

I'm having issues as well. I have a lot of pain in my bladder but never had a UTI. I had the test done with the camera, and though I was nervous, it wasn't a big deal. They used lidocaine, so I'm sure that helped . I'm doing weekly treatments into my bladder to reduce the pain hopefully. So far I'm not having too much trouble with continence though.

Jenny
5/27/19 Colectomy - stage 3c
6/24/19 - folfox, 8 rounds
sept 19 - chemoradiation - 28 days
jan 20 - NED
9/20 - recurrrence
10/20 - started folfiri - possible upcoming surgery to remove "everything"

NHMike
Posts: 2503
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby NHMike » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:42 pm

I didn't have any problems with radiation but I lost some male function and I attribute it to the stent to the bladder as a surgical problem would have meant incontinence. I will go see a urologist to see if it can be fixed one of these days. The whole area takes quite a beating.

I had a fair amount of pain after the surgery and it was due to bladder pressure. The urine bags are sealed so pressure builds up until someone empties them and it gets painful if they get too full.

I'm just saying that it's possible that the stents that they put in may have caused some damage.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

Jolene
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:17 am

Re: Urinary issues after chemoradiation ?

Postby Jolene » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:49 pm

Hi everyone - thanks for sharing and thought I'll do an update and continue sharing with those who might have the same issue.

Finally got round to checking in with a urologist - thank god it was a female doc as it's one of the most unglamarous tests I've ever done in my life while having to be awake. :oops: A colonoscoopy doesn't seemed so bad in comparison ! Lol !

They performed a Urodynamic test which is basically to check the function and holding power of the bladder. Turns out my bladder is real healthy and I have no issue with any holding power. i.e. I have no incontinence issue.

The second test I did was a Cystoscopy scan. Something like a colonoscopy except it's for the bladder. The camera showed a few tiny patches of red scars and bits of blood all over. Blood vessels on the bladder were also much more obvious than a regular bladder - signs of radiation impact. So apparently the radiation had affected my bladder midly resulting in some sensitivity but all in all, nothing to worry about. I'm just glad that it's not bladder cancer or the begining of early incontinence.

The mild leakage is somewhat inconclusive based on the above tests and it's probably down to slightly weak pelvic floor muscles. Recommended me to check out a physio.
Dx @ 39 F, married
Nov 18 - Dx of a mid-rectal tumour at T3N1M0 (2cm) 7cm from AV
Dec 18 - CRT, 28 sessions + Capecitabine at 3000mg daily
Jan - Mar - Wait and watch in place
Mar 19 - MRI, PET, sig flex and biopsy ordered to determine being a WW candidate.
Apr 19 - CCR. Surgery on hold. 6 cycles of Xelox.
Aug 19 - Completed 6 cycles of Xelox.
Oct 19 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI - clear
Jan 20 - Colonscopy, biopsy, MRI - clear
Jun 20 - Flex sig, biopsy, PET/MRI, CT - clear
Jan 21 - Tests scheduled


Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests