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Dealing with a diagnosis and the effects of pelvic radiation disease (PRD) can be a lot to cope with and you may experience a wide range of emotions about it. It is common for women to feel alone and vulnerable during this time. You may feel embarrassed about what is happening to you or angry that after all you have been through you now have to deal with this. Many women also feel sad, worried or depressed.
As PRD can vary a lot from woman to woman, there is no right or wrong way to feel. Getting a diagnosis helps a lot of women to feel better. It gives them the opportunity to not only get treatment and help in managing the symptoms, but it can also make them feel less alone knowing that it is a condition with a name that other people have too. Getting in touch with or meeting other women who have PRD, and therefore understand what it feels like, can also help. You can talk to other women on our online Forum; or you can contact our Helpline for further support. You can also visit our information page which has advice from other women who have experienced PRD on how they manage their symptoms.
Your health care team (including your GP, Cancer Nurse Specialist, Gynae-Oncologist or follow-up team) can offer you a range of care and support. Together you and your team might decide that you should be referred on to a specialist, which could be a gastroenterologist, urologist, physiotherapist, psychologist, sexual therapist or pain expert, amongst others.
For some it can be hard to discuss the symptoms of PRD or how it is making them feel. However, talking to your friends and family about what you are experiencing and how it is impacting your life may help you feel less isolated. It may also help them to better understand what support they can offer you.
For links to other organisations that may be able to help you please take a look at our links page.
Since undergoing treatment for her cervical cancer in 2014, Yoshie has experienced some side effects.
‘My bowel is less able to absorb the acid that is released when eating fatty foods, which gives you diarrhoea. I saw a specialist for this problem and they prescribed me medication and suggested a special diet that helps me cope with these side effects.’
Read the rest of Yoshie’s story.