What Can I Do To Manage My Nausea And Vomiting
Just as every cancer patients treatment is different, the way each person responds to his treatment is also different. While one person may have nausea or vomiting, another may not. However, there are things you can do to help deal with this treatment side effect.
Plan For Managing Your Nausea And Vomiting
- What anti-nausea medicine has your doctor given you?
- When do you need to take your anti-nausea medicine?
- What make you feel sick to your stomach or like throwing up?
- How do you get in touch with your doctor or health care team if you need help?
How Fertility Might Be Affected
For women: Talk to your cancer care team about how radiation might affect your fertility . Its best to do this before starting treatment so you are aware of possible risks to your fertility.
Depending on the radiation dose, women getting radiation therapy in the pelvic area sometimes stop having menstrual periods and have other symptoms of menopause. Report these symptoms to your cancer care and ask them how to relieve these side effects.Sometimes menstrual periods will return when radiation therapy is over, but sometimes they do not.
See Fertility and Women With Cancer to learn more.
For men: Radiation therapy to an area that includes the testicles can reduce both the number of sperm and their ability to function. If you want to father a child in the future and are concerned about reduced fertility, talk to your cancer care team before starting treatment. One option may be to bank your sperm ahead of time.
See Fertility and Men With Cancer to learn more.
What Is The Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer
No matter where prostate cancer spreads, its still treated as prostate cancer. Its harder to treat when it reaches an advanced stage.
Treatment for advanced prostate cancer involves targeted and systemic therapies. Most men need a combination of treatments and they may have to be adjusted from time to time.
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What Should I Do If I Have Prostate Cancer Symptoms
If you are displaying one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to promptly consult with a physician. Even benign prostate conditions like prostate enlargement warrant timely medical attention, so dont delay seeking treatment. And, like most other malignancies, prostate cancer is usually more easily treated when it is detected at an early stage.
Looking For More Of An Introduction
If you would like more of an introduction, explore these related items. Please note that these links will take you to other sections on Cancer.Net:
ASCO Answers Fact Sheet:Read a 1-page fact sheet that offers an introduction to prostate cancer. This free fact sheet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
ASCO Answers Guide:Get this free 44-page booklet that helps you better understand the disease and treatment options. The booklet is available as a PDF, so it is easy to print.
Cancer.Net Patient Education Video:View a short video led by an ASCO expert in prostate cancer that provides basic information and areas of research.
Cancer.Net En Español: Read about prostate cancer in Spanish or read a 1-page ASCO Answers Fact Sheet in Spanish. Infórmase sobre cáncer de próstata en español o una hoja informativa de una página, Respuestas sobre el cáncer.
The next section in this guide is Statistics. It helps explain the number of people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and general survival rates. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.
ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Societys publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2021, and the ACS website .
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Dizziness When You Change Position
You might feel dizzy if you sit or stand up suddenly. This is more common if you are 65 or older, but it can happen at any age. If you already feel dizzy from cancer or its treatment, changing positions quickly can make the dizziness worse.You can be at risk of falling if you are dizzy at any age. But older adults are more likely to have a serious injury if they fall.
Risk Factors For Lymphedema
Risk factors depend on the type of surgery as well as the persons individual risk factors. For example, about 16% of melanoma patients develop lymphedema, and roughly 10% of patients with cancers of the urinary system and/or genitals will experience lymphedema.
Someones individual risk factors also make them more likely, or less likely to develop lymphedema. These can include:
- How extensive the surgery was
- Whether the patient had radiation treatment and to what extent the lymph nodes were targeted
- Whether the wound took more time than usual to heal
- Whether the tumor was obstructing the lymph system prior to surgery
- If there was scarring from the surgery scar tissue can act as a barrier to the lymph system
- Pre-existing condition like diabetes, thyroid disease or obesity
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Potential Causes Of Dizziness
The first step is to speak with your care team. They may be able to work with you to figure out whats causing your dizziness or balance issues. It may just be a simple lifestyle change you need, but its important to determine if your dizziness is a sign of a more serious concern.
Below are some potential reasons behind this symptom.
Dehydration: If youre experiencing diarrhea, nausea and vomiting from your treatments or the underlying cancer, its easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration may cause a steep, sudden drop in blood pressure that may leave you feeling dizzy and at risk for passing out.
Getting up too quickly: The medical term for this is orthostatic hypotension. It happens to many people for a variety of reasons. If youre dizzy from cancer or its treatment, changing positions too quickly may make it worse.
Anemia: Marked by abnormally low levels of red blood cells, anemia may occur as a side effect of chemotherapy or as a symptom of some cancers, and may cause dizziness.
Heart disease: While rare, some heart problems may develop after cancer treatment, such as irregular heartbeats, damage to heart valves or heart failure. These may make you feel dizzy. Heart-related side effects are more likely if youre 60 or older, a young child or a female. Heart damage is also more common if you were treated with high doses of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines. High-dose radiation to the chest may raise the risk for heart disease after cancer treatment.
How Is Dizziness Treated
Some medications may help to decrease the feelings of unsteadiness or imbalance associated with dizziness. These medications are also known as motion sickness drugs. Examples include:
- Scopolamine patch
Prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy through the use of antiemetic drugs may also decrease feelings of dizziness. Go to the Nausea and Vomiting section for more information on treating this side effect.
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Treatments May Have Side Effects
The treatment options for early-stage prostate cancer fall into three broad categories: surgery, radiation therapy, and active surveillance. Your doctor will make a treatment recommendation based on your numbers as well as a mathematical tool known as a nomogram, which can help you and your doctor better assess how extensive your cancer is likely to be and whether it is likely to become active in the future.
Yet clinical studies have not provided any evidence that one treatment is better than another or that any treatment at all actually prolongs life: The average 5-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates are virtually the same for all treatment options in early-stage prostate cancer, including active surveillance. Its also important to understand that no mathematical model is foolproof, and some men diagnosed with early-stage, locally confined disease will later find out that their cancer was more extensive than originally believed.
If you are diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, you have a number of treatments to choose from. A brief comparison is listed in Table 2.
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Talking With Your Doctor
Different kinds of doctors and other health care professionals manage prostate health. They can help you find the best care, answer your questions, and address your concerns. These health care professionals include:
- Family doctors and internists
- Physician assistants and nurse practitioners
- Urologists, who are experts in diseases of the urinary tract system and the male reproductive system
- Urologic oncologists, who are experts in treating cancers of the urinary system and the male reproductive system
- Radiation oncologists, who use radiation therapy to treat cancer
- Medical oncologists, who treat cancer with medications such as hormone treatments and chemotherapy
- Pathologists, who identify diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope
View these professionals as your partnersâexpert advisors and helpers in your health care. Talking openly with your doctors can help you learn more about your prostate changes and the tests to expect.
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Dealing With Fatigue At Work
There are laws that protect anyone who has cancer or has had cancer. Even if you no longer have cancer, you are still protected against discrimination.
Under these laws your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to where and how you work, to make sure you get the same chances as the people you work with. For example, a reasonable adjustment could be:
- giving you time off to go to medical appointments
- allowing extra breaks if you feel tired
- changing your job role to remove tasks that cause problems
- providing suitable toilet facilities.
You can find out more about your rights at work during and after cancer treatment from Macmillan Cancer Support.
What else can help?
If your employer learns more about prostate cancer and its treatment, they might be more understanding. You could show them this website or order our fact sheet, Fatigue and prostate cancer.
Take a look at your company policies and employee handbook. Talk to your occupational health service for advice.
Go to your employer with suggestions about what would help you. For example, taking extra breaks, working from home, flexible hours, or changing your job role or duties for a while.
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How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
Second Cancers After Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors may develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.
Unfortunately, being treated for prostate cancer doesnt mean you cant get another cancer. Men who have had prostate cancer can still get the same types of cancers that other men get. In fact, they might be at higher risk for certain types of cancer.
Men who have had prostate cancer can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of certain cancers, including:
This risk is probably related to the dose of radiation. Newer methods of giving radiation therapy may have different effects on the risks of a second cancer. Because these methods are newer, the long-term effects have not been studied as well.
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Head Or Neck
People who get radiation to the head and neck might have side effects such as:
- Soreness in the mouth or throat
- Dry mouth
- Jaw stiffness
How to care for your mouth during treatment
If you get radiation therapy to the head or neck, you need to take good care of your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. Here are some tips that may help you manage mouth problems:
- Avoid spicy and rough foods, such as raw vegetables, dry crackers, and nuts.
- Dont eat or drink very hot or very cold foods or beverages.
- Dont smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol these can make mouth sores worse.
- Stay away from sugary snacks.
- Ask your cancer care team to recommend a good mouthwash. The alcohol in some mouthwashes can dry and irritate mouth tissues.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt and soda water every 1 to 2 hours as needed.
- Sip cool drinks often throughout the day.
- Eat sugar-free candy or chew gum to help keep your mouth moist.
- Moisten food with gravies and sauces to make it easier to eat.
- Ask your cancer care team about medicines to help treat mouth sores and control pain while eating.
If these measures are not enough, ask your cancer care team for advice. Mouth dryness may be a problem even after treatment is over. If so, talk to your team about what you can do.
How to care for your teeth during treatment
Radiation treatment to your head and neck can increase your chances of getting cavities. This is especially true if you have dry mouth as a result of treatment.
What Is Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting usually happen together but they can also happen alone. Nausea is an unpleasant feeling in the back of your throat and stomach. This feeling may cause you to vomit. Some words that people use to talk about nausea are sick to my stomach or feeling queasy. When you have nausea, you may also have some other symptoms like having more saliva in your mouth, feeling dizzy or light-headed, having a hard time swallowing, changes in your skin temperature, and your heart might beat faster.
Most people refer to vomiting as throwing up. Vomiting is when your stomach muscles tighten powerfully. This causes what is in your stomach to come up through your mouth. You can throw up without feeling any nausea.
Sometimes people also have retching. Retching is when you try to vomit but cant bring anything up from your stomach. Other words people use to talk about retching are gagging or having dry heaves..
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What Other Factors Contribute To Fatigue
Several other factors could contribute to fatigue, including:
- Tumor cells compete for nutrients, often at the expense of the normal cells’ growth.
- Decreased nutrition from the side effects of treatments can also cause fatigue.
- Cancer treatments, specifically chemotherapy, can cause reduced blood counts, which may lead to anemia, a blood disorder that occurs when the blood cannot adequately transport oxygen through the body. When tissues don’t get enough oxygen, fatigue can result.
- Medicines used to treat side effects such as nausea, pain, depression, anxiety, and seizures can also cause fatigue.
- Research shows that chronic, severe pain increases fatigue.
- Stress can worsen feelings of fatigue. Stress can result from dealing with the disease and the “unknowns,” as well as from worrying about daily tasks or trying to meet others’ needs.
- Fatigue may result when you try to maintain your normal daily routines and activities during treatments. Modifying your schedule and activities can help conserve energy.
- Depression and fatigue often go hand-in-hand. It may not be clear which started first. One way to sort this out is to try to understand your depressed feelings and how they affect your life. If you are depressed all the time, were depressed before your cancer diagnosis, or are preoccupied with feeling worthless and useless, you may need treatment for depression.