Doctor Day – The bladder and radiation
Why do I have to keep my bladder full?
Your radiation treatment is designed to minimize the amount of radiation to the bladder. Your bladder sits on top of the prostate. It is easier to limit radiation exposure when it is filled like a balloon. When it is empty and flat, it will get more radiation than needed and this will increase the risk of long term urinary side effects.
Food and the bladder
Taking good care of your bladder is important at all times, including during radiation treatments. Below is a list of foods that are bladder friendly, and a list of foods that patients should avoid. Consuming the recommended foods will not only help your bladder, but your overall health.
- apricots, bananas, blueberries, pears
- avocados, broccoli, cabbage, carrots
- celery, cucumber, mushrooms, peas
- potatoes, spinach, squash, oats
- rice, eggs, nuts, fish
- meat, peanut butter, milk, water
Foods go avoid
- juices (cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, orange)
- chili peppers
Produce that has the highest pesticide residues are listed below. You should buy these fruits and vegetables as organic options whenever possible:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
For a comprehensive list of irritants, click here.
How much exercise do I need?
While food choices are always important, so is the need to exercise. We recommend that patients get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, cycling, swimming) each week. In addition, two to three resistance exercise (lifting weights) sessions each week involving moderate to vigorous intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like to learn more about radiation therapy, contact the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Garza.