Dialogue around prostate cancer treatment can be a difficult and potentially awkward scenario to navigate. Questions pop up around sex, urination and other personal issues that make asking pressing questions a lumbering, labored experience. Because of this, many men shy away from asking questions that could potentially change their decision when it comes to treating their cancer. That is exactly why we have crafted this list of answers to some of the most common personal questions.
This is the most common personal question men state they want to ask in the process. Every man would like to know what, if any, potential sexual side effects are associated with prostate cancer treatments and what his chances are of seeing these play out in his life.
As with many treatment questions, the answer is multi-faceted. Depending on treatment type, skill of physician and personal response to treatment, sexual side effects may range. The severity of sexual side effects with any type of treatment also depends on a man’s baseline sexual function before treatment.
The nature of Radical Prostatectomy surgery creates an increased risk for sexual side effects. The act of cutting out the entire prostate eliminates all tissue, including healthy tissue, and men may experience the inability to ejaculate.Depending on the extent of the cancer, surgeons will attempt to preserve the sex nerves, in which circumstance effects on nerve functionality would be less extreme. Other potential side effects include erectile dysfunction, nerve insensitivity and other sexual-related functionality issues. Due to advancements in Radical Prostatectomy surgery, these side effects may be able to be limited.
Non-surgical treatment options, such as ProstRcision, leave the prostate and surrounding tissue intact, creating less risk for sexual side effects.
Urination side effects are another concern often associated with prostate cancer treatment. Again, depending on the method of treatment, side effects may be ranging.
Surgical treatment (Radical Prostatectomy) cuts/removes the entirety of the prostate tissue and in turn removes the muscles that control urination. Urethra damage and muscular changes can lead to urinary issues like flow and leakage.
If prostate cancer treatment is done through a non-surgical option, like ProstRcision, these side effects can be limited. Muscles that control urinary function remain in the body, creating an ability to recover from treatment and decreasing side effects. Treatment effects can cause temporary prostate swelling and in turn create weaker urine flow. This is often treated with alpha blockers that will relax prostate muscles, resulting in easier urination for most men. Men who have a weak stream after ProstRcision typically find their symptoms gradually resolve over 6-12 months as the prostate shrinks.
If one is concerned with prostate cancer treatment side effects, or would like to find out more about the treatment options, please get in touch today! One of our knowledgeable (and discrete) patient navigators can answer any sensitive questions and help equip a man, or his loved one, to making an informed treatment option.