How to Deal with Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
Part of the Prostate Cancer For Dummies Cheat Sheet
The possible side effects of prostate cancer treatment cause most men to worry. The following information can help you talk to your doctor about overcoming and controlling the side effects that may accompany treatment for prostate cancer:
Impotence: If your doctor recommends prostatectomy surgery, ask him if nerve-sparing surgery, which can often preserve the ability to have erections, is an option for you. Also, if you do experience impotency after treatment, talk to your doctor about good solutions (such as Viagra, vacuum pumps, injections, and penile implants).
Incontinence: Your doctor can prescribe drugs that will relieve you of the constant feeling that you have to go --- right now! You can also practice bladder exercises such as Kegels, which strengthen your bladder muscle. If the problem is severe, surgery to implant an artificial bladder sphincter can help resolve it. This should get you urinating normally again.
Fatigue: If the problem is fatigue (and often, it is!) make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Also, a simple exercise regimen or regular walks can counteract tiredness. If fatigue stems from cancer-fighting drugs, ask your doctor about medications to combat your fatigue.
Irritability, mood swings, and depression: Overcome emotional problems with therapy and support groups. Often your doctor can prescribe medications that can help.