What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need
There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.
The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- Your age
- Any other health problems you might have
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- Your feelings about the need to treat the cancer
- The chance that treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your feelings about the side effects that might come with treatment
What Treatment Options For Sexual Dysfunction Are Safe After Prostate Surgery
All of the treatment options come with risks, even the all-natural ones. You need to be careful about sourcing supplements, being confident in the supply.
Many US-based manufacturers were caught by the FDA selling natural Tongkat Ali which actually contained prescription ED drugs! Likewise, overtraining can lead to injury or soreness. However, theres no doubt that the natural approach is safer than the alternative.
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The side effects from the most commonly used ED pharmaceuticals include minor ones, such as headache, flushing, runny nose and pains in the stomach or back.
In some cases, dizziness and a sudden drop in your blood pressure can take place. Thats why men with heart conditions have to be evaluated by a physician before they take it, and may have to rely on a lower dose.
Around 1 out of every fifty men who take those drugs will also experience painful or persistent erections.
The highest risk group, however, is those who undergo surgery to get an implant. Thats why its always the last choice. As the surgeon needs to make an incision into the scrotum, penis and often the abdominal wall, there is a risk of infection.
What Happens After Urethral Sling Surgery
Patients usually recover from this surgery quickly. It’s best to limit demanding activities for approximately six weeks after surgery to avoid having the sling loosen before healing is complete.
After surgery, there may be swelling that makes it difficult to urinate. You’ll have a catheter coming out of the urethra for two to three days. After this, the catheter is removed and just about everyone is able to void on their own. In rare cases, the catheter may have to be reinserted for a few days or up to a week if you cannot urinate.
After the swelling goes down, youll gradually be able to urinate on your own and empty your bladder. However, your normal urination pattern may not return for a few weeks.
The majority of men who’ve had this procedure have been cured of their urinary incontinence and no longer use pads. The others usually improve to the point where they don’t use as many pads as they were before.
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Side Effects Of Prostate Surgery
The major possible side effects of radical prostatectomy are urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction . These side effects can also occur with other forms of prostate cancer treatment.
Urinary incontinence: You may not be able to control your urine or you may have leakage or dribbling. Being incontinent can affect you not only physically but emotionally and socially as well. These are the major types of incontinence:
- Men with stress incontinence might leak urine when they cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise. Stress incontinence is the most common type after prostate surgery. It’s usually caused by problems with the valve that keeps urine in the bladder . Prostate cancer treatments can damage this valve or the nerves that keep the valve working.
- Men with overflow incontinence have trouble emptying their bladder. They take a long time to urinate and have a dribbling stream with little force. Overflow incontinence is usually caused by blockage or narrowing of the bladder outlet by scar tissue.
- Men with urge incontinencehave a sudden need to urinate. This happens when the bladder becomes too sensitive to stretching as it fills with urine.
- Rarely after surgery, men lose all ability to control their urine. This is called continuous incontinence.
After surgery for prostate cancer, normal bladder control usually returns within several weeks or months. This recovery usually occurs slowly over time.
There are several options for treating erectile dysfunction:
Known Side Effects Of A Radical Prostatectomy
So, what happens to a man when he has his prostate removed? There is a multitude of effects that occur to men after they have had prostate removal surgery.
The procedure is major pelvic surgery, and, as such, it carries along with it many potential risks. In addition to the immediate effects of the surgery, the removal of the prostate causes long-term side effects that are generally permanent.
Until recently, these side effects about what happens to a man when he has his prostate removed have not been relatively well-classified.
Most side effects are those reported by urologists that are performing the surgery. This reporting has been, in past years, rather poorly detailed and sparse due to the surgeons not anxious to publicize the failures of a procedure, they have attached a gold standard label.
The most reported side effects are erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
Unfortunately, even though doctors have filed reports, the bias of the doctors filing them is questionable.
For example, one report details one of the significant side effects, postoperative erectile dysfunction, occurs between 14 and 90 percent of patients. This is a relatively wide range.
Based on my many years of practice, it is a very optimistic estimate. And it is likely provided by urologists who either do not want to admit their procedure causes such harm or deny the side effects and results.
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What To Expect After Radical Prostatectomy
Most men stay in the hospital for one to three days after radical prostatectomy. A urinary catheter is inserted during the surgery, and some men may need to wear the catheter home for a few days to a few weeks. Another catheter inserted through the skin also may need to stay in place for a few days after returning home.
Pain after radical prostatectomy can generally be controlled with prescription pain medicines. It can take weeks or months for urinary and sexual function to return to their maximum levels.
After radical prostatectomy, regular follow-up is essential to make sure prostate cancer does not return.
What Can I As A Partner Expect
One of the effects of prostate cancer treatment is erectile dysfunction or impotence. This means that your partner may not be able to have erections that are hard enough for him to have sex with you or that he may not be interested in sex because of the medicine he is taking to treat his prostate cancer. This affects not only the man, but you, too, as his intimate partner. If you are the partner of a man with erectile dysfunction, it can be difficult to cope with changes in your sexual relationship. Sometimes men struggle to come to terms with changes in their body image or their ability to perform sexually. This can sometimes result in him staying away from intimate situations where he may feel under pressure to make love. As a partner you may feel rejected by what seems like a lack of sexual interest or intimacy. This may not have anything to do with his feelings for you, but is a result of his cancer treatment. Erectile dysfunction can be difficult for both of you. You may want to reassure your partner that:
- Sex is not as important as long as he is healthy and that he is no less of a man to you
- You will work through it with him
- You understand his feelings
- He is important to you
It may help if you explain to your partner how important nonsexual touching and intimacy such as kissing and cuddling is to you.
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How Does Prostate Surgery Affect You Sexually
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer and opt for a prostatectomy, particularly a radical prostatectomy, the surgeons will have removed your prostate.
While the prostate isnt directly responsible for your libido or sexual sensation, in some men who have had a prostatectomy, there can be damage to nerves or blood vessels.
The prostate is next to a dense group of nerves and the seminal vesicles .
There is a heightened chance of an infection such as spermatocystitis which can cause you pain or in some cases impotence.
For men who have had an open prostatectomy, they will find that they can no longer ejaculate. This is known as a dry orgasm and can still be pleasurable.
Even with less invasive surgeries, the most common complaint or side effect tends to be sexual in nature.
However, according to systematic reviews and meta-analysis of the scientific data, these cases of sexual dysfunction are often associated with psychological factors that might be present before surgery or as a result of stress related to the surgical procedure.
Radiation therapy can impact the pelvic floor muscles and nerves that control erections and provide pleasure.
According to a 2016 study, around half of Prostate Cancer patients who have any form of radiation therapy go on to develop erectile dysfunction.
For a large section of men who opt for radiation-based therapies, the first stage is usually hormone therapy.
Are There Differences Between Orp Lrp And Ralrp
According to a 2010 of different surgery types for prostate cancer, the outcomes for open radical prostatectomy , laparoscopic , and robotic-assisted prostatectomy are not significantly different.
But people who choose LRP and RALRP may experience:
- less blood loss
- shorter hospital stay
- faster recovery time
Also, people who choose RALRP report faster recovery in continence and decreased hospital stay, in comparison to LRP. But the overall outcomes still depend on the surgeons experience and skill.
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Side Effects From Radiation
Urinary symptoms from radiation treatment for prostate cancer are different from those caused by prostate surgery. Its more like a urinary tract infection-increased urgency and frequency, and men may some have bleeding or pain when they urinate, Calvaresi said. These problems often go away once treatment is complete.
Radiation also may cause bowel changes, such as constipation, loose stools or both. These can be managed by over-the-counter medication. Men may also see some blood in their stool during treatment-if so, let your health care provider know about this.
Men undergoing radiation are likely to have ED, but not immediately. It slowly sets in after radiation treatment, Calvaresi said. Treatments for radiation-related ED are the same as ED caused by prostate cancer surgery.
How Soon After Prostate Cancer Treatment Can You Be Sexually Active Again
Different Prostate Cancer treatments have various periods before one can resume sexual activity. Its also down to an individuals recovery time, which has to factor in age.
A man who has had a prostatectomy in his eighties will find that it will take him a lot longer to resume any sexual activity than a man in his fifties who has had external beam therapy.
The individuals general health and genetics all play a part in the healing process. With a prostatectomy, studies tend to show that it is at least several months before erectile function returns, but it can be up to a year.
For more limited surgery, such as TURPs, one can expect to be sexually active again within 4 6 weeks if that is the only surgery and treatment. Often it happens in conjunction with other treatments, such as hormone or radiotherapy, which have much longer recovery times.
There are still options that are open to men before that. If a man still feels sexual desire, then sexual activity is still possible.
There are three parts to orgasm, and while the sensation of fullness or ejaculate may no longer be present, the mental part of orgasm which takes place in the brain is just as possible as before surgery. Plus theres absolutely nothing stopping a man from being more focused on his partners sexual pleasure.
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Caring For Your Incision
The incision runs from above the base of the pubic area to below the navel. It is important to keep it clean and dry. Showering once a day should be sufficient. If you notice extreme or increasing tenderness, progressive swelling, more than a small amount of drainage or any pus or redness, notify your doctor right away.
What Happens During Prostate Cancer Surgery
During surgery for prostate cancer, the urethra is also affected and, depending on the experience of the surgeon, more or less of the continence function will be preserved. Due to the high precision of robotic surgery, the patient will have a catheter for roughly one week and the trauma to the urinary function will be minimum.
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Sex After Surgery To The Prostate Gland
When your prostate gland is removed, you will still make sperm, but it wonât come out through your penis. It will be absorbed back into the body. You may also have problems with erections or lose interest in sex after prostate surgery. Although you may feel embarrassed, doctors who deal with prostate cancer are very used to talking about these issues and will be able to give you advice. There are treatments that can help with this.
After Prostatectomy: What To Expect
At the hospital : You should expect to be in the hospital for one night. At Johns Hopkins, all rooms on the urology floor are private. Here, nurses help patients get moving shortly after surgery to prevent blood clots and other postoperative risks.
First few days at home : After youre sent home, you might find that regular ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be sufficient pain management for the first few days. If over-the-counter medications arent enough, your doctor can help you with alternatives.
One week after surgery : After your surgery site heals, your catheter will be removed. This is usually seven to 10 days after surgery. This can easily be done at your doctors office. Some people decide to take out their catheter at home. If thats the case, ask your doctor for instructions first.
This is also about the time your surgeon will call you with the final pathology results. He or she will discuss what you should know and whether further treatment is necessary.
One month after surgery : Doctors recommend no strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least one month after surgery. Most people take off work for three to four weeks. If you work from home, you could return to work sooner.
- Urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
Recovery from surgery takes time. These side effects are often temporary. However, if they are affecting your quality of life, ask your doctor about options that can help.
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Facts Every Man Should Know Before Prostate Cancer Surgery
Many men want to know what prostate cancer surgery is like, including what to expect before surgery and what to expect afterwards.
Here are my findings based upon more than 1,000 phone calls to men the day before surgery, almost 700 visits to men the day after surgery and hundreds of calls from men in the weeks following surgery.
Risks Of Radical Prostatectomy
Radical prostatectomy has a low risk of serious complications. Death or serious disability caused by radical prostatectomy is extremely rare.
Important nerves travel through the prostate on the way to the penis. Skilled surgeons can usually protect most of these nerves during radical prostatectomy. Still, complications from inadvertent nerve damage do occur after radical prostatectomy. They include:
- Urinary incontinence: More than 95% of men younger than age 50 are continent after radical prostatectomy. Around 85% of men aged 70 or older maintain continence after the operation.
- Erectile dysfunction : Problems with erections are common after prostatectomy. Still, most men are able to have sex after prostatectomy while using medicines for ED , an external pump, or injectable medications. The younger the man, the higher the chance of maintaining potency after prostatectomy. A period of penile rehabilitation is often necessary.
Much of the skill involved in radical prostatectomy centers on sparing these nerves during the operation. A man undergoing radical prostatectomy by a surgeon at an advanced prostate cancer center has a better chance of maintaining sexual and urinary function.
Other complications of radical prostatectomy include:
- Bleeding after the operation
- Groin hernia
- Narrowing of the urethra, blocking urine flow
Less than 10% of men experience complications after prostatectomy, and these are usually treatable or short-term.
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