Rectal/Colon Cancer: Recovery From External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
In general: As a general matter, side effects that appear during radiation treatment may continue for a short while after treatment ends, but then they will gradually disappear. If side effects continue longer than expected, contact your doctor.
Erectile Dysfunction: If you experience erectile dysfunction during treatment, it may continue. It can go on for 2 – 5 years. There are treatments for erectile dysfunction. For information, see the document in "To Learn More."
Chemotherapy: If you have chemotherapy after radiation treatment, some drugs used for chemotherapy may sensitize the skin to radiation. The skin that was exposed to the radiation beam may develop particularly severe inflammation, rashes, or sores. This is known as "radiation recall." If it occurs, tell your doctor.