Prostate Cancer Network

Interrupted radiation?

This post is motivated by a posting from Roger2Dodger, who is experiencing bad side effects of radiation.

I found an article on the Internet that seem to indicate that radiation should always be given continuously, without taking days off:

The following article seems to say Yes, but maybe not ...

My own treatment was primarily HDR brachytherapy, but I also had 25 sessions of 3DCRT external beam radiation. In my case, the 25 sessions were administered on Monday-Friday with no treatment on the weekends. I also had a week off due to the Christmas - New Year holiday. In both cases, these off periods were for the convenience of the hospital staff. I would have been willing to go every day for 25 days if that would give me a better chance for a cure, but I was told that the treatment off periods would have no negative effect.

So I have a question: For those of you getting external beam radiation, were you given treatment every day of the week, or did the staff take the usual Saturday, Sunday and holiday days off?

And as a followup, how are you doing and how long has it been since your treatment?



8 Replies

Alan, in early 2001, my PSA was 4.7. I had approximately 7 weeks of external radiation (no weekends), then had 3 weeks off followed by 126 seed Bachytherapy. (No hormone therapy).

My PSA had been non-detectable since Sept.2002.

Frank - Houston,Texas.


Hi Frank do you remember your Gleason score?


TinCanSailor-Texas, Wow! That will be 15 years. I hope you have a celebration of some kind. Your kind of results give hope to the rest of us.


I just completed 39 sessions of IMRT for recurrent PCa, so I do not know if this differs from when you have radiation as a primary treatment. The treatments were not given on Saturday or Sunday. I do not know if that has any impact on effectiveness. I guess only time will tell, but I did like the break. Best wishes for a successful treatment.


Sounds like weekends, and maybe holidays, off is pretty standard practice. I was surprised that in the articles I saw about interrupted radiation that was never mentioned. The focus was entirely on patients who failed to come in for their scheduled radiation.

I remember asking about the weekends and Christmas-New Year week off when I had my radiation and the rad-onc said it was no problem and would not affect the outcome of the treatment.


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I don't know if it's too late to help by adding my info, but in case it isn't:

Had 40 IMRT treatments ending June 2016. Had weekends off; also Memorial Day off, 1 machine down day off and 1 sick day off. Weekends were not an option. I recall hearing treatments subside several days each if scheduled through Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I recall, it wasn't a whole week. I asked a rad tech and was advised a few days missed here and there doesn't matter and weekends off are actually beneficial. I don't recall ever asking my RO that specific question.

Pretreatment PSA was 7.6.

Feb 2016 TRUS indicated G3+4, with 8 of 12 cores positive (I think?). Staging: Uro said T1c and RO said Stage II. Different paradigms of staging, evidently. Had follow-up MRI my PCP pushed for, but it was not endorectal. Now I wonder why not. Report indicated possible G8 and G9 and also possible ECE, but the biopsy pathology report became the entire basis for my official grading. My 4 mo. post-RT PSA was 3.0; 10 mo. post-RT PSA was 1.9.

I'm told no red flags at this point, but am guessing PSA ideally probably could have trended lower. At least it's going the right direction and I'm grateful for that.

Based mostly on my impression that the MRI report was somewhat certain the biopsy was undergraded, I am preparing for advancement, but am of course hoping thst doesn't happen.

Trying to use major diet and exercise lifestyle changes to my advantage. Dietary science can unfortunately be unclear and even contradictory. Also using mindfulness and acupuncture.

Finally (and a separate subject), to the moderators who I hope are still following this thread: No, I'm not advanced, but I value the positive spirit and solid knowledge here. Made one error in judgment in a post I think, and will be much more careful going forward to ensure I don't "complain" about any treatment effects that are relatively minor compared to what a lot of members here have faced. I hope to hang around as long as I continue to feel welcome in general...unless you advise me otherwise.



Oops. I thought I was posting in the advanced forum. The topic here is now more logical to me, ha! Darrell and Alan, feel free to disregard my last bit directed to you above. I know you're both involved with the advanced forum, but it may not be relevant to much of anyone else. And it's off topic from the thread to begin with. Oh wow...Sorry!


Darryl, I meant.


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