Many sufferers suffer not only from the diagnosis of prostate cancer, but also from the side effects of the therapy. For this reason, it should be supervised by an experienced urologist and the advantages and disadvantages of the different options of therapy should be discussed in advance. In the case of prostate cancer, regular monitoring and, if necessary, adjustment of the treatment are necessary.
Side effects after prostate surgery or therapy
Here are the main side effects of different types of prostate cancer treatment:
- Surgery: Common side effects of surgery include bleeding, inflammation, and wound healing disorders, not just prostate surgery. In one-third to one-half of prostate cancer patients, a nerve injury occurs during or after prostate surgery, which can lead to erectile dysfunction or even impotence. Even unwanted urination (urinary incontinence) is a possible complication - which often returns to normal within weeks to months after prostate surgery. In five to ten percent of cases, however, it remains.
- Radiotherapy: As a result of tissue destruction, 30 to 40 percent of patients experience persistent erection problems following radiotherapy as part of the treatment of prostate cancer. Problems with urination or the intestine (diarrhea) are mostly temporary and only become chronic in three to five percent of those affected.
- Hormone therapy: Possible consequences of hormone therapy are depending on the drug gastrointestinal complaints, disorders of liver function and a painful swelling of the mammary glands. Also common are hot flashes and sweats, impotence and decrease in sexual desire. The drugs increase the risk of diabetes and bone loss.
- Chemotherapy: The most common side effects for the duration of therapy are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, hair loss, increased susceptibility to infection and allergic reactions.
Incontinence after prostate surgery
The persons affected usually find the impairment of libido and potency as well as urinary incontinence particularly stressful. In addition, the quality of life may also be severely impaired by pain due to metastases. Many of the consequences of treating prostate cancer can be specifically improved - for example, urinary incontinence can be successfully counteracted by consistent pelvic floor exercises.
In other episodes of prostate therapy, on the other hand, the person affected (and his partner) must change accordingly - support and advice are provided by doctors and support groups. Often, after leaving the hospital, he or she stays in a rehabilitation facility, which not only serves to recover, but also to deal with illness and everyday life.
The medical follow-up examinations are important - in the first two years about every three months, later at longer intervals. Not only can complications of prostate cancer be recognized and treated, but also a recurrence of prostate cancer can be detected early.
Prostate cancer: life expectancy and chances of recovery
In the early stages, when the prostate cancer is still inside the prostate capsule, it is curable by the surgery. But even if the prostate cancer is larger, there are chances of recovery. Even if he has already metastasis, the prostate cancer life expectancy can still be ten years or more. Nevertheless, ten percent of cancer deaths in men are caused by prostate cancer. Therefore, the early detection of prostate cancer is so important to preserve chances of recovery.