These 5 side effects after prostate cancer surgery are some of the most common. Learn what they are, and what you can do about them here. The prostate is a gland that is below the bladder and makes part of the fluid for semen. When cells grown abnormally within the prostate, this is called prostate cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be an estimated 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer in the United states in 2010, and an estimated 32,050 deaths from this disease. Even though prostate cancer treatment involves getting rid of the bad cells, treatment can also damage the healthy cells which can lead to side effects.
- Pain Pain is the most common of the five side effects after prostate surgery. Pain after surgery is controlled with pain medications. If, after a few days, the pain is uncontrolled, be sure to let your doctor know.
- Weakness As with any surgical procedure, you may feel tired and weak for a few days after prostate cancer surgery. The time it takes for recovery will vary from patient to patient. If after a week you are still feeling lethargic and weak, talk to your doctor.
- Impotence Although the side effect of impotence after prostate cancer surgery has decreased over the years, it can still happen. Impotence is usually caused from damage to nerves that cause an erection from either the cancer itself, or the surgery. Even after a successful nerve-sparing procedure, impotence may be found but may only be temporary.
- Urinary Incontinence Damage to the opening of the bladder or nerves of the bladder can be one of the five side effects after prostate cancer surgery. Again, statistically this incidence is lower in recent years due to new technology and procedures.
- Infertility If you need to have full removal of the prostate, called a prostatectomy, you will be infertile. If you are a younger male and infertility will be a problem for you, then you can talk to your doctor about options like freezing your sperm before surgery.