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No matter what type of treatment you choose, life with prostate cancer can be challenging. Your goal during treatment should be to live as normal a life as possible. Your health care team can help you to cope with any physical and emotional issues that result from treatment. The support of your family and friends can help, too.
Treatment for prostate cancer may affect your sexuality. The type of treatment you receive, your age at diagnosis, and your sexual functioning before treatment can all affect your level of erectile function and sex drive after your cancer therapy. Often, these problems can be treated. Ask your urologist for help. And talk to your partner about ways to nurture your relationship so that it will be satisfying for both of you.
After surgery for prostate cancer, normal bladder control can be affected. It usually returns within several weeks or months. During this time you may experience some form of incontinence or urinary retention. Be sure to empty your bladder completely while urinating. Any urine left in the bladder for a prolonged time may cause urinary tract infections. If you feel that you are not able to empty your bladder completely, discuss this with your health care provider immediately.
Effective treatments, such as special exercises, medicines, or corrective procedures, exist for most urinary problems. Talk with your urologist or radiation oncologist about what may help you.
During and after treatment, your urologist will monitor your prostate health. Your health care team will also help you control any ongoing symptoms resulting from treatment. Keep in mind that each man responds differently to prostate cancer treatment. Continue working with your team throughout treatment. Mention any concerns you have, and be sure to get your questions answered. The American Cancer Society gives specific guidance for men with a history of prostate cancer. This includes achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through physical activity and a healthy diet, and checking with your health care provider before taking any supplements. Above all, think about how best to live your life. Prostate cancer may or may not shorten your life. But living life to the fullest is a good goal for anyone.
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