Getting a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be stressful, confusing,and scary. Luckily, there are a number of treatments available for prostate cancer, but going through the treatment process is not with out mental, emotional, physical, and financial side effects. Understanding these side effects can help you better cope while you are treating your prostate cancer.
Dealing with Physical Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
There are treatments that are effective at fighting prostate cancer, but while you are undergoing these treatments you may notice some uncomfortable physical side effects. Prostate cancer patients often report changes in how the bladder and bowels function. During your cancer treatments you may experience diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas, and urinary incontinence. In many cases, these symptoms gradually subside in the weeks following the completion of the cancer treatment. You may also feel extremely exhausted or lethargic during the course of your prostate cancer treatment- this is a normal side effect of cancer treatment. Your doctor may prescribe a medication to help with the fatigue, and light exercising, such as taking short walks, can also help.
Sexual Side Effects
As you go through your cancer treatment, you may notice that you have a lower libido and you may have difficulty achieving and maintaining erections. Due to the nature of prostate cancer treatment, treating this type of cancer can also affect your hormone levels. Some sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatment are temporary, but if you must have your prostate removed they are more likely to be permanent. Speak openly with your doctor- there are medications available to help with any erection problems you may have. If you want to father children in the future after prostate cancer treatment, talk with your doctor about your options of collecting and freezing sperm, as prostate cancer treatment will leave you infertile.
Emotional Side Effects
Dealing with cancer can be incredibly difficult emotionally- you are worried about your health, experiencing uncomfortable side effects, trying to stay optimistic, all while undergoing regular prostate cancer treatments. Battling cancer is not something that you should have to do alone. Having a strong support network can greatly improve your emotional state of mind as you go through treatment. Don't be afraid to accept love and support from your family and friends- it is okay to ask for help when you need it, or have someone to talk to when you are feeling low or scared. You may also want to join a support group for prostate cancer patients so you can interact with other people who are in the same position as you.Share