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Prostate Cancer, Sexual Function, Urinary Incontinence

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Prostate cancer (PCa) therapy has left you with reduced sexual function and increased urinary problems. These side effects are common among prostate cancer survivors who have had a radical prostatectomy or local radiation.

What if you could improve your sexual and urinary health while reducing your risk of prostate cancer recurrence?

Though my cancer was not prostate cancer I am all-too-familiar with short, long-term and late stage side effects.

What are the most common side effects of a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer?

to treat prostate cancer, can have several common side effects. These may include:

  1. Incontinence: Difficulty controlling urine flow, particularly immediately after surgery. This can improve over time with pelvic floor exercises and other therapies.
  2. Erectile dysfunction: Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, which can occur due to damage to the nerves and blood vessels that control erections during surgery. Treatments such as medications, penile injections, or devices like vacuum erection devices or penile implants may help.
  3. Changes in orgasm: Some men may experience changes in the sensation of orgasm or a decrease in ejaculate volume following surgery.
  4. Infertility: Radical prostatectomy typically leads to the inability to father children naturally due to the removal of the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and sometimes the vas deferens.
  5. Short-term pain and discomfort: Following surgery, there may be pain and discomfort at the surgical site, which can usually be managed with medication.
  6. Lymphedema: Swelling due to the accumulation of lymph fluid may occur, particularly if lymph nodes are removed during surgery.

What are the most common side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer?

Common side effects of radiation therapy for PCa can include:

  1. Fatigue: Feeling tired is one of the most common side effects. It may persist throughout treatment and for some time afterward.
  2. Urinary Problems: These can include increased frequency of urination, urgency, burning sensation during urination, or blood in the urine.
  3. Bowel Problems: Radiation can irritate the rectum, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, urgency to have a bowel movement, or rectal bleeding.
  4. Erectile Dysfunction: Radiation therapy can affect erectile function, although the extent varies among individuals.
  5. Skin Changes: Some men may experience skin irritation, redness, or sensitivity in the pelvic area where the radiation is targeted.
  6. Changes in Bowel Habits: This may include diarrhea, constipation, or both.
  7. Decreased Semen Production: Radiation therapy can affect the prostate gland, leading to decreased semen production or changes in ejaculate consistency.
  8. Long-term Effects: In some cases, there may be long-term side effects such as narrowing of the urethra (urethral stricture) or chronic inflammation of the rectum (proctitis).

If you are considering a radical prostatectomy please spend several months PreHabilitating-   either before or after your procedure.  You will be glad that you did.

If you had radiation therapy for PCa, please consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to heal any radiation fibrosis (scarring). Your doctor can prescribe this therapy. It is FDA approved for this therapy.

man hand holding his nutritional supplemets, healthy lifestyle background.

Have you been diagnosed with PCa? Conventional oncology isn’t very good at discussing the possible side effects of most PCa therapies. If you’d like to learn more about evidence-based non-conventional therapies to reduce your risk of PCa as well as your risk of side effects, send me an email- David.PeopleBeatingCancer@gmail.com


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Plant-Based Diet a Boon for Men With Prostate Cancer

“A plant-based diet, low in dairy and meat but rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts, can improve sexual and urinary health in patients treated for local PCa, new research showed…

The findings, published on February 13, 2024, in the journal Cancer, bolster previous research showing plant-based diets can reduce the risk for recurrence and improve survivorship in men with PCa…

For the new study, Loeb and her colleagues looked at data from more than 3500 men with PCa in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study… The dataset included more than 50,000 male dentists, pharmacists, optometrists, osteopaths, podiatrists, and veterinarians…

The median age of prostate cancer diagnosis was 68 years;

  • 48% of patients underwent radical prostatectomy and
  • 35% had radiation as primary therapy.

None of the patients were known to have had metastatic disease…

Men in the study answered a questionnaire every 4 years about the kinds of foods they ate and in what proportions. Another survey, administered every 2 years, assessed

  • the frequency of incontinence,
  • difficulties maintaining an erection,
  • and problems with bowels, energy, and mood, among many other health concerns…

The authors found those who consumed the most plant-based foods scored 8%-11% better in measures of sexual function than the group that consumed the least of these products…

These men also reported up to 14% better scores for urinary health, with fewer instances of incontinence, obstruction, and irritation, and up to 13% better scores in hormonal health, marked by symptoms like low energy, depression, and hot flashes…

Justin Gregg, MD, a urology researcher at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas, whose research has found the Mediterranean diet can slow tumor progression among men with localized PCa on active surveillance, called the results “not entirely surprising, as prior studies have shown associations between plant-based diet and outcomes like erectile function among men who do not have prostate cancer…”

But Kenneth Jacobsohn, MD, professor of urology and director of lifestyle medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said the new findings help establish “the positive role of diet quality and plant-based diets, specifically on quality of life after PCa diagnosis and treatment for men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer…”

Prehabilitation for radical prostatectomy: A multicentre randomized controlled trial

Conclusion: While feasible and safe, prehabilitation has promising benefits to physical and psychological wellbeing at salient timepoints relative to radical prostatectomy…

Hyperbaric Treatment of Delayed Radiation Injury

“A growing body of literature supports the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the prevention of radiation injury. This is usually in the setting of proposed surgery within a previously irradiated field where the likelihood of complications and difficult wound healing is high.



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