This Article is About
treatment of prostate cancer
urinary incontinence
lower abdomen
prostate cancer
prostatectomy
diapers
What They Dont Want You To Know
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In previous articles, the author has discussed the various treatment options and alluded to the resultant side effects of the treatment of prostate cancer. It is now time to face the piper and admit what the side effects are and look at how often patients must face them following treatments for their cancer. It is not a pretty picture.

The Most Visible

Following a radical prostatectomy, whether by robotics or not, brachytherapy, cryotherapy, and radiation, though delayed in this case, incontinence is hugely likely. In point of fact, it is an almost a certainty. The doctors rarely even mention it in their discussion with you and will rarely tell you to stock up on the necessary supplies.

What are those supplies? For the vast majority, we will suffer some form of urinary incontinence. The mildest form is a little leakage when pressure is placed on our lower abdomen. This can be when we sit up in bed, or when standing up from a sitting position. For those who have this mild incontinence, a pad or a diaper will suffice. One per day is probably all we will need. From this mild form, there will be some who will experience more severe urinary incontinence and will need several diapers a day, and will be changing it frequently. The very worst form of urinary incontinence will require a foley bag and catheter.

All who undergo treatment for prostate cancer should be prepared for this added expense and discomfort following our initial treatment. These necessary supplies should be included in our instructions in preparing for our treatment, and not be ignored or dismissed.

The Most Difficult

The most difficult side effect to deal with following our treatment for our prostate cancer is probably impotence. Impotence, such a nice way of saying, you will suffer from erectile dysfunction. In other words, we will not be able to perform sexually as we have in the past with our partners. Impotency is one of the side effects that may also have psychological consequences that will need to be dealt with in addition to all of the physical side effects of the treatment we have undergone.

One of the post-op instructions will probably be to do kegel exercises. What in the blazes are kegel exercises, some of you might say. For those of us who have had children during the past thirty or forty years, will have heard the term used as our wives were being instructed on some of the things they needed to do to prepare to give birth. But, I highly doubt if very many of us were told that men could, and probably should, do kegel exercises to help our own performance and sexual prowess.

Kegel exercises are a simple exercise that will strengthen to muscles controlling our release of urine and ejaculate. Following treatment of prostate cancer, we will need to strengthen the remaining muscles as the prostate gland's removal or destruction, depending upon which treatment we have received. Many doctors will not go into any detail into how to do kegeling so we will be left to wonder about how to kegel, and if what we are trying to do is right or if we are wasting our time.

The Solution

For urinary incontinence, and to help in our recovery from impotence, kegeling will aid in both. It will be of immediate impact on our incontinence. Later, it will probably aid in regaining our potency. To know which muscles are involved all you need to do is stop the urine flow during urination. The muscles you used to stop the flow are the very muscles you need to use in doing kegels. Kegels are simply a tightening of those muscles in an organized and orderly strength conditioning pattern. Begin by quickly clinching and releasing the muscles identified while urinating. Do not tighten your thigh and buttocks muscles or your abdominal muscles while doing your exercises. These muscles need to be kept relaxed.

After the initial series of kegel exercises, you will begin working on duration exercises by holding the kegel for 30 seconds at a time. You will need to give sufficient time between each tightening sequence to relax and give the muscles time to repair and prepare for more activity. The nice part of kegeling is that we can do them almost anytime and anywhere we choose.

The instructions for kegeling needs to be one of the instructions given by the doctor as he begins preparing us for the treatment of our prostate cancer. Learning to properly kegel will help both before and after our treatment. And, if we teach the exercise to our sons and daughters while they are in their teens, they will enjoy a more healthy sex life and have a more positive attitude about themselves in their relationships. At least, that is what we can hope for and teach for.


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