PRDA’s definition of Pelvic Radiation Disease
Pelvic Radiation Disease (PRD) is defined as one or more ongoing symptoms of variable complexity that may affect people who have previously had radiotherapy to the pelvic region to treat their cancer. This includes pelvic radiotherapy for cancers of the colon, rectum, anus, prostate, testes, bladder, cervix and womb, but also total body radiotherapy and radiotherapy in the pelvic area for other primary and secondary cancers.
Pelvic Radiation Disease can affect one or more of: bladder, bone, bowel, nerves, sexual organs, blood supply, stomach and digestion, lymphatic system, skin and mental health.
Symptoms arise as a result of damage to internal organs or skin. Symptoms often settle in the few weeks after radiotherapy finishes but Pelvic Radiation Disease can be defined as symptoms starting or continuing 3 months or more after the end of radiotherapy. Sometimes they start many years or decades after radiotherapy.
You can find further information on the definition and terminology of Pelvic Radiation Disease here.
PRDA has compiled a list of clinical guidance and information on Pelvic Radiation Disease for professionals and patients.
Accessing public toilets
We understand that people with PRD may be concerned or anxious about the accessibility of public toilets, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some tips that can help to improve your confidence when leaving the house:
- The Great British Toilet Map is the UK’s largest database of publicly-accessible toilets, with over 11,000 facilities.
- Loocation UK is a helpful tool to identify open public toilets.
- PRDA offers a free ‘just can’t wait’ toilet card which is designed to give you discreet, urgent access to a toilet at the discretion of the establishment. Please get in touch to request a card
- Being prepared with a small ‘travel kit’ containing the following items ‘just in case’ can come in handy:
– PRDA toilet card
– Radar Key
– tissues/toilet paper
– spare pads/continence products
– hand sanitiser
– change of clothes (e.g underwear and a pair of leggings/jogging bottoms)
PRDA urges you to write to your MP to highlight the impact a lack of public toilets has on people living with PRD.
Self management of PRD symptoms
- Dr Clare Shaw, Consultant Dietitian in Oncology at The Royal Marsden Hospital, has produced a Diet Sheet for people who are undergoing or have experienced radiotherapy, and who are experiencing side effects (download only)
- Managing the bladder late effects of pelvic radiotherapy (Macmillan Cancer Support)
- Managing the bowel late effects of pelvic radiotherapy (Macmillan Cancer Support)
- Macmillan information and support for late effects of pelvic radiotherapy
- Search tool for finding local continence services
- Information on Pelvic Floor Exercises including printable exercise guides
- The PRD Algorithm. “The Practical Management of the Gastrointestinal Symptoms of Pelvic Radiation Disease”. Designed to help clinical nurse specialists in conjunction with a gastroenterologist to investigate and treat symptoms following pelvic radiotherapy. Dr J Andreyev et al, published in Frontline Gastroenterology 2014 www.fg.bmj.com
- The Orbit Trial – Abstract from The Lancet (Sept. 2013). Algorithm-based management of patients with gastrointestinal symptoms after pelvic radiation treatmen
- Radiation-induced bowel injury: a neglected problem. James W Denham and Martin Hauer-Jensen – an article published in the Lancet online September 23, 2013
- Practice Guidance on the management of acute and chronic gastrointestinal problems arising as a result of treatment for cancer. Download from Gut – BMJ paper by Dr J Andreyev et al. 2011
- Managing Lower Gastrointestinal problems after cancer treatment: a quick guide for health professionals. Published by Macmillan.
- Leaflets and posters can be found on our Leaflets page
- Videos and Links from our 2021 Annual Conference and external sources.
Modified: 15th February 2022