Health
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Radiation Cystitis?

Radiation cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder lining, often a side effect of radiation therapy used in pelvic cancer treatments. This condition can cause discomfort, urinary complications, and bleeding. Understanding its symptoms and management is crucial for patient care. Curious about how this condition affects daily life and what treatments are available? Dive deeper into the personal stories and medical insights in our full article.
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

Radiation cystitis is a condition where complications of radiation therapy cause swelling and inflammation of the bladder lining, resulting in pain and a reduction in proper bladder function. It is most commonly a side effect of radiation treatment of tumors in the pelvic area such as on the prostate, cervix, and bladder. Though it is not usually serious, the condition can range in severity from temporary difficulties with urination to a rarer total cease in bladder function that may lead to death. Symptoms of radiation cystitis are not always immediate and can often appear months after radiation therapy has been completed.

The condition can be treated with medication, diet, exercise, and on rare occasions, surgery. Drugs can be used to improve the process of bladder emptying and contracting, or to relax the muscles so that the patient does not feel the need to eliminate as frequently. Irritation of the bladder can be reduced by avoiding drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or citrus fruit juice. There are also pelvic and bladder exercises which can help to tone the muscles involved in urination, thus offering better control and smoother, less painful elimination. If there is a great deal of blood present in the urine or if the patient has severe problems with the retention of urine, surgery may be necessary.

Radiation therapy, such as with a linear accelerator, can result in radiation cystitis.
Radiation therapy, such as with a linear accelerator, can result in radiation cystitis.

Radiation cystitis is most commonly diagnosed with a combination of urine testing and cytoscopy. Urinalysis can help the doctor to determine if white or red blood cells are in the urine, which can indicate the condition. Cytoscopy involves the use of an instrument with a light on the end to physically exam the inside of the bladder for abnormalities.

Urinalysis is one test used to diagnose radiation cystitis.
Urinalysis is one test used to diagnose radiation cystitis.

Medical professionals typically organize the symptoms of radiation cystitis into two categories: acute and either late-phase or chronic. The acute symptoms of the condition tend to arise from inflammation in the bladder due to radiation. They include an increased urgency and frequency of urination. The chronic symptoms of radiation cystitis include ulcers, fistulas, incontinence, and overall dysfunction of the bladder.

Radiation cystitis is a condition where complications of radiation therapy cause swelling and inflammation of the bladder lining.
Radiation cystitis is a condition where complications of radiation therapy cause swelling and inflammation of the bladder lining.

Other common symptoms of radiation cystitis include pain or a burning sensation during urination or lack of ability to adequately empty the bladder. Urine can be cloudy or contain small or large amounts of blood. There can also be urinary incontinence or frequent urination at night. Some patients have abdominal pain or pressure in the pelvis. Urine may also have an unusually unpleasant odor.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Radiation therapy, such as with a linear accelerator, can result in radiation cystitis.
      By: Alex Tihonov
      Radiation therapy, such as with a linear accelerator, can result in radiation cystitis.
    • Urinalysis is one test used to diagnose radiation cystitis.
      By: Darren Baker
      Urinalysis is one test used to diagnose radiation cystitis.
    • Radiation cystitis is a condition where complications of radiation therapy cause swelling and inflammation of the bladder lining.
      By: rob3000
      Radiation cystitis is a condition where complications of radiation therapy cause swelling and inflammation of the bladder lining.
    • Common symptoms of radiation cystitis may include a burning sensation during urination or inability to adequately empty the bladder.
      By: 7activestudio
      Common symptoms of radiation cystitis may include a burning sensation during urination or inability to adequately empty the bladder.
    • Symptoms of radiation cystitis may include abdominal pain.
      By: ruigsantos
      Symptoms of radiation cystitis may include abdominal pain.
    • Radiation cystitis may occur as a side effect of radiation treatment of prostate tumors.
      By: blueringmedia
      Radiation cystitis may occur as a side effect of radiation treatment of prostate tumors.