PRDA Trustee Dr Tim Ward presented results from the PRDA supporter survey at the 2019 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference, as part of the ‘Living With and Beyond Cancer’ Programme Stream. The poster was entitled Pelvic Radiation Disease – what the doctor didn’t tell you’. The survey (carried out from 2013 to 2018) revealed interesting disparities about what potential side effects people are told about prior to pelvic radiotherapy and what symptoms they actually experienced.

The conclusions are “This survey has confirmed the major symptoms experienced by patients undergoing pelvic radiotherapy as pain, urinary issues, bowel problems, nausea and bloating.

Pain, nausea and appetite feature as statistically significant in the analysis whilst bloating featured strongly in reported symptoms post treatment. There is a clear discord between the  information given to patients prior to starting treatment and the reality they experience post treatment. Current information given to patients  should be updated and extended to include these problems. Holistic needs assessment should take into account this extended repertoire of symptoms and solutions applied.”

PRDA is delighted that this work was chosen for presentation at the premier UK cancer research conference, as it helps to raise awareness of PRD further amongst clinicians and researchers. PRDA would like to give thanks to Tim and PRDA Friend Dr Andrew Brunskill who co-authored the study, and to the 170 PRDA supporters who completed the survey.

Modified: 28th November 2019