Prostate Cancer Surgery Side Effects – That You May Know Nothing Of

September 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Surgery

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I don’t know of anyone under the sun who would rather not have one definitive fix-all solution to any ailment that there is… and without side effects too. But one should be so lucky – prostate cancer is definitely one disease that is not like that. Torn between several existing procedures that are meant to aid with the disease in some way, several new procedures for treating the disease continue to spring up all the time. Why? It’s because there is not definitive cure for the malignancy of the cells of the prostate gland, and worse, all the existing treatments have their own side effects that may not be very palatable to deal with.

Surgery is one such. Called a radical prostatectomy when used for dealing with prostate cancer, it can be done through an incision in the abdomen of the patient or through an incision in the perineum. Either way, the intention is to remove the prostate gland, and with it the cancerous tumor that is growing with it. One might then wonder how or why there should be any side effects to the therapy.

Here it is: besides the common risks that are synonymous with any kind of surgery, the unique location of the prostate gland specifically poses a special problem by itself. The gland is located underneath the bladder, partially surrounding it. It also is very close to the tube leading from the bladder to the penis called the urethra. As a result it is extremely difficult for anything to affect the prostate gland without affecting either the bladder or the urethra, or both.

This is why some of the symptoms of prostate cancer include problems with urinary function and with sexual performance. This is why there are quite a number of complications or side effects that occur from the prostate surgery that is intended to treat the condition and perhaps cure it. One of those side effects is the loss of continence or urinary control.

After the surgery, most men find it difficult to ‘hold their leaker,’ as it is called in vernacular. At least for several days they have to wear a catheter around their ankle with a tube from their penis to the sac to collect urine. For the most part though, a good portion of continence returns after a while – sometimes up to ninety percent of it.

But even graver is the fact that the nerves that control erection are closely located to the prostate – lining it on the sides even. As a result, even with nerve sparring to protect and avoid damage to the nerves, many men end up impotent and unable to achieve a proper erection again for the rest of their lives. Some semblance of it returns after a few years, but for the most part the man has to do it with medications (Viagra), which may or may not work.

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