By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Individuals who have suffered from prostate cancer and undergone therapy for the condition may be affected in various ways after therapy.
Many prostate cancers are slow growing and men who are prescribed watchful waiting as their therapy often experience many symptom-free years. However, some men develop an aggressive, faster growing form of the cancer that may need to be treated with surgery or radiotherapy.
Examples of the effects prostate cancer therapy may have later on in a man’s life include:
Anxiety and depression - Growing or recurring cancers can cause a significant degree of anxiety and depression, partly because of the symptoms that may manifest such as erectile dysfunction and partly due to the fears about the ultimate outcome of the cancer.
Erectile dysfunction can be treated using phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors such as sildenafil (viagra).
Urinary incontinence is another side effect of prostate cancer that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Pelvic floor exercises and/or surgical procedures may be used to correct this problem.
Healthy living after prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. People should choose a healthy diet, exercise regularly, stop smoking, cut down on alcohol and maintain a healthy body weight after prostate cancer therapy. Certain foods that contain phytonutrients such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes may offer protective effects against prostate cancer. Research also suggests that vitamin D, E and C supplementation may protect against cancer, including prostate cancer.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2014