prostate cancer

Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is responsible for secreting fluid that makes up a part of the semen. When the cells in the prostate gland proliferate uncontrollably, it is referred to as prostate cancer. Some men who get prostate cancer treatment can suffer from side effects.

These side effects depend on a number of factors, such as location of the cancer cells, the treatment plan and overall health of the patient. Some of the side effects of prostate cancer treatment are as follows:

Prostate Cancer

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence or inability to control urination is one of the side effects that may develop after the treatment.

Usually, if surgery is required, the prostate gland and some of the surrounding tissue are removed.

This can result in urinary incontinence, causing the urine to leak out of the urethra or being unable to hold the urine.

If this happens, the person may need medication, another surgery to rectify the problem or use catheters.

Bowel Incontinence

A person can also develop bowel incontinence, wherein he is unable to control the movements of the bowel.

This can occur with radiation therapy. Bowel incontinence can be controlled with over-the-counter medications and usually it resolves itself after a certain period of time.

Impotency

Men, who have prostatectomy, can suffer from impotency or erectile dysfunction. Usually when malignancy has spread beyond the prostate, the testicles are removed and this can cause a hormonal imbalance leading to impotency or erectile dysfunction. Even radiation therapy can result in impotency, which can be treated with medication or vacuum constriction device.

Other Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Besides the aforementioned side effects, there are some more that can result due to prostate cancer treatment. External radiation can cause the person to pass blood in the urine, loose stools or suffer from an inflamed bladder or rectal burning. Skin irritation, redness of the skin, appetite loss and fatigue are some of the other side effects that can occur after prostate cancer treatment.

Some men can suffer from bruising of the scrotum or penis due to internal radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can result in blood clots, fluid retention, reduction in the red and white blood cell count and hair loss.

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