Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

Urologists, who often diagnose prostate cancer, have many types of treatments they can offer to their patients. Every treatment has certain side effects, so each man and his doctor will discuss the balance between each treatment’s benefits and potential side effects.

Let’s talk about some of the most common side effects of prostate cancer treatment, and where you can go here in Phoenix and Gilbert for outstanding men’s healthcare.

Common Side Effects from Prostate Cancer Treatments

Men who are treated for prostate cancer often experience one or more of the following side effects:

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the loss of control of urine flow. Causes of incontinence are the total removal of your prostate (radical prostatectomy), radiation to the pelvis, and chemotherapy.

The urethra travels from the bladder straight through a man’s prostate, and it is a delicate process for the prostate to be removed without disturbing the urethra.


If a man has prostate surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation to treat prostate cancer, he may develop infertility as a result. If you are considering having children in the future, speak with your physician about ways to preserve your sperm until a later date.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can affect patients after prostate surgery, hormone therapy, or radiation to the prostate.

Treatments for ED are varied. Most patients have heard about ED but don’t know which treatment would work best for them. Your urologist may prescribe one of the following to treat your ED:

·       Sildenafil (Viagra)

·       Tadalafil (Cialis)

·       Vardenafil (Levitra)

·       Vacuum pump

·       Penile injectable medications

·       Penile implants

Nausea and Vomiting

One of the most frequently experienced side effects of prostate cancer treatment is nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy uses harsh chemicals that affect the whole body, and cancer patients often suffer from nausea which can be accompanied by vomiting.

Your urologist can prescribe medication to help tamp down nausea; if one medication doesn’t work, let your doctor know because there are others you can try. Here are some other tips for avoiding suffering from nausea and vomiting:

·       Avoid strong odors and perfumes.

·       Apply a cool cloth to your forehead or the back of your neck if you are feeling nauseous.

·       Eat small meals on treatment day, and eat saltine crackers or dry toast if you’re nauseous.

·       Eat soft foods that are easy on the stomach. Avoid dairy and fried, greasy, or spicy foods.

·       Wear loose clothing. Loose clothing puts less pressure on your abdominal and pelvic area.


Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation are the main culprits of this side effect. Your doctor can give you medication to help alleviate diarrhea.

Many interventions can help to lessen diarrhea. Try to:

·       Drink eight to 12 glasses of clear liquids per day, including water, ginger ale, sports drinks, and broth.

·       Eat six small meals rather than three large meals.

·       Avoid foods that cause cramping and diarrhea, including dairy and greasy, spicy, and fried foods.

·       Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

·       Limit high-fiber foods, because these make your intestines work hard and can therefore cause abdominal pressure.

Prostate Cancer Treatment in Phoenix

Dr. Desi Avila at Ironwood Urology wants to help you deal with these side effects if you are treated for prostate cancer. If you need an experienced urologist to help with your urinary or reproductive systems, Dr. Avila is here to provide the high quality of care you expect from your physician.

Call (480) 961-2323 to schedule your appointment for a consultation or use our convenient online request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner.