Prostate cancer can often be a major worry for those that are suffering from it, of course, it’s widely regarded as a dangerous and deadly illness. However, it is highly treatable and can be fended off with a wide variety of medicines and treatments.
Whilst it is a relief to be clear of the illness once and for all, prostate cancer treatment side effects can often cause big problems. Here are a few of the side effects of different treatments, and how you can avoid these side effects.
What side effects can I come across?
There is a wide range of side effects you might find yourself dealing with, differing from treatment to treatment. A few of these side effects are listed below, along with the relevant treatment and ways to avoid the side effect.
The side effects of chemotherapy
Chemotherapy can be a very difficult process, as it can often harm your immune system. This means that you can be at risk of other infections in addition to dealing with prostate cancer. To avoid this specific issue, you can take a couple of actions. This includes improving your diet to ensure you’re getting the full range of necessary vitamins (although this may be difficult, as chemotherapy also causes a lower appetite), and asking about protective drugs that can boost your immune system, such as prophylactic antibiotics and CSF treatments.
In addition to a weaker immune system, people have been known to suffer from bowel problems, and struggle with fluid retention when going through chemotherapy. This issue can be seen as the cause of many other symptoms, leading to the patient feeling tired or weak, and having changes in mood. The fluid issue can be helped by ensuring that you’re taking plenty of fluids in, as this ensures that more will be in the system even if you’re losing more fluids than expected. Increasing your fibre intake and getting exercise is advised to help with the bowel problems, as that should get your system moving again and mitigate the effects of prostate cancer on the body.
Side effects of prostatectomy
Prostate surgery is a big step to take in your recovery, but you’ll need to take precautions after prostate surgery to ensure that your prostate surgery recovery isn’t going to lead to long term problems for you. One of the bigger side effects is a range of urinary issues that can occur. Incontinence is only likely to be a temporary issue which improves as your surgery heals, and in addition to this, you are able to train your body to deal with incontinence to a greater extent.
Impotence and erectile dysfunction are also issues that can arise from a prostatectomy. Your ability to get erections after surgery can often come down to age and if you were able to get erections prior to the surgery, but in any case, you’ll be able to find a treatment such as viagra, alprostadil or vacuum devices in order to get an erection following your surgery. Whilst you can recover over time, there are certainly options in place for your short term recovery.
Side effects of radiotherapy for prostate cancer can vary, but they are often the same as those of chemotherapy due to their use in conjunction with each other. By following similar steps to those dealing with chemotherapy, you’ll be able to resolve the majority of the side effects you find yourself suffering from.
Androgen deprivation therapy side effects can be wide-ranging due to the use of androgens in a range of organs, and can thus lead to risks such as lower bone density and resulting bone fractures. Plenty of exercise is advised to counter androgen deprivation therapy, as it can also lead to a loss of muscle mass and physical strength.
Finally, hormone treatment can be a reliable way of treating prostate cancer, and the side effects of hormone treatment for prostate cancer are somewhat less severe than other treatments. The effects brought on by hormone treatment are due to lower testosterone levels, and will be reversed once the treatment is complete and your testosterone levels naturally start to rise again.
If you’re interested in further discussing prostate cancer treatments and side effects, get in touch with Katelaris Urology. We are experts in the field and can answer any and all queries you may have about prostate cancer, treatments, and related side effects.