Getting a prostate cancer diagnosis is life changing, and with treatment will come a number of side effects. It is important that you take time to rest, get adequate nutrition, and remove the stresses you can from your life in order to maintain a better quality of life through treatment.

Watchful Waiting and Monitoring Is Stressful

Now that you found out you have prostate cancer, your doctor has prescribed watching and waiting. While it may seem odd to just let the cancer sit there, it's important to understand that some forms of prostate cancer grow very slowly. You can be monitored through blood tests, usually every three to six months, which will measure the level prostrate-specific antigen in your body. This watching and waiting can cause an abundance of stress, but the alternative is treatment that may or may not prolong your life. Your doctor has determined that it is not yet necessary to treat your cancer with options that will cause significant side effects.

Surgical Intervention for Prostate Cancer

Your doctor may decide that surgery is your best option for a cure for your prostate cancer. The cancer will be removed, as well as any involved lymph nodes nearby. Side effects of surgery for prostate cancer could include intermittent incontinence, an inability to fully empty the bladder, and a feeling of always having to go to the bathroom. In rare cases, constant incontinence can become a problem.

Radiation Therapy Is Used for a Number of Reasons

Radiation may be used at the beginning of treatment when the cancer is small, if the cancer has recurred, or if the tumor is large and the doctor is trying to shrink the tumor. Radiation can have side effects. Radiation can irritate the intestines, causing bowel troubles. Radiation can also irritate the bladder, making the patient urinate more often. In some cases, radiation will cause impotence, which will only be noticed over time.

Hormone Therapy Reduces Male Hormones in the Body

Lowering androgen levels through the use of hormone therapy can help the tumor shrink, or at least slow down the growth of the tumor. Hormone therapy is not a stand alone cure, but can help with cancers that are difficult to treat or have spread to other areas. Side effects from hormone therapy for prostate cancer can include impotence, loss of muscle mass, an inability to think clearly, exhaustion, depression, hot flashes, low red blood counts and bone thinning.

If you are being treated for prostate cancer, talk with your doctor about all of your treatment options and how best to manage the side effects associated with your care. Contact a clinic like Unity Urology PC for more information.