Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
In the following paragraphs, I'll try to explain the prostate removal side effects.
1. Urinary incontinence - some men who have undergone a surgical intervention to cure prostate cancer, may develop urinary incontinence which means they can not control their urine or have leakage.
2. Impotence(erectile dysfunction) - this is as a result of unconsciously damaging or consciously removing the 2 tiny nerve bundles that run on either side of the prostate, that are responsible for the erection.
3. Changes in orgasm - in some men orgasm becomes less intense than it was before the surgery.
4. Loss of fertility - radical prostatectomy cuts the connection between testicles and urethra. The testicles will make sperm, but given that the connection with urethra no longer exists, it will not come out as a part of ejaculation. This means that a man can no longer father a child the natural way.
5. Change in penis length - this is due to a shortening of urethra when a portion of it is removed along with the prostate.
6. Inguinal hernia - prostatectomy increases the chances of a man developing the inguinal hernia.
Prostate cancer side effects of both the meds and surgical interventions can be troublesome and quite intrusive. It is a matter of great importance to take precautions to minimize this side effects if an optimal overall condition of the patient is to be achieved.
In the case of impotence( as a result of both medicaments or surgery) the usage of some drugs such as Sildenafil (Viagra) or other drugs might help if the nerve bundles that control erection is intact. Other options in case of impotence are vacuum devices or even penile implants.
Urinary incontinence may be treated with exercise which empowers pelvic muscles, or if this treatment does not work, surgery is needed.
Loss of fertility usually is not an issue because men with prostate cancer tend to be older. But, if this is a problem, banking the sperm before surgery is a good choice.
If one is having hot flashes, keeping loose-fitting clothes, using fans, keeping windows open might help.
In case of fatigue and weakness some precautions might help:
1. taking short naps during the day
2. letting others help you during the day
3. take short walks to increase your strength and energy.
In the case of breast tenderness using anti-estrogen medicaments (Tamoxifen) will help. Even radiotherapy as a prophylactic measurement can help.
In the case of tumor flare pain, avoiding the drugs that have this side effect will do. In case the usage of this drug is necessary, using bisphosphonates may lighten the pain.
In the case of weight gain, eating low-calorie food, and exercising every day will help.
In the case of memory problems or depression the drug that has this effect must be changed. Psychotherapy might also help.
In case of osteoporosis using bisphosphonates can help in increasing the bone density.
Most of the prostate cancer side effects of meds and surgery last for a short period of time while other effects are permanent.
Hormone therapy side effects such as fatigue, breast tenderness, osteoporosis, depression, impotence, gaining weight etc last as long as the treatment continues. (Which is usually three moths a year).
Surgical side effects like impotence, urinary incontinence, infertility are permanent. Other interventions are needed to cure this gained conditions.