Prostate Cancer Complications
In addition of the complications of
the disease itself, surgery for prostate cancer can also lead to serious problems. The major complications that
can be resulted from a radical prostatectomy are impotence, urinary incontinence and urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra). Radical
prostatectomy also increases the risk of other complications such as pneumonia, blood clots, infection and
Metastasis - cancer cells from the prostate gland can spread locally
into the bones, lymph nodes, rectum, and bladder. The tumor can also invade distant sites in the body through
the bloodstream to form new cancers. Although rare, an advanced prostate cancer can
invade the following organs:
Impotence - the nerves responsible for erection of the penis are
located very near the prostate gland. Therefore, a radical prostatectomy can damage these nerves and cause
erection problems. Besides the surgery, radiation or hormonal treatments can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
However, nowadays, there are surgical therapies used to treat prostate cancer that preserve those nerves and
prevent impotence. If you would like to continue your sexual life after the surgical therapy, talk to your
doctor before the surgery.
Urinary incontinence - both cancer and its treatment can be associated with
urinary problems. After surgery, it is likely not to have bladder control immediately. This problem does not
occur in all men, and even when it happens, urinary continence usually returns within a few months after the
surgery. In case the incontinence continues for a long period of time, an artificial urinary sphincter
transplant can be the only therapeutic option.
Bone pain - although at first it can be completely asymptomatic,
sometimes the cancer spreads beyond the prostate gland to affect nearby or distant bones, causing bone pain and
other symptoms related to bone disease. Bone metastases of prostate cancer may even cause destruction of the
affected bone. This destruction, in addition to pain, can be responsible for serious metabolic disorders due to
high levels of calcium in the blood.
Other complications - In addition, both prostate cancer and its treatment can
Malaise or general
Prostate Cancer Diagnosis