Prostate cancer survivorship care encompasses men’s health and wellbeing from the diagnosis stage and onwards.
The survivorship process is different for everyone. Some survivors may continue to receive cancer treatment for a long time to reduce the risk of recurrence or to manage the cancer as a chronic disease.
Our Nurse Kendall Gow, has been specially trained in providing survivorship services. The important areas of focus include:
- Weight loss
- Diet and exercise
- Surveillance of cancer (especially through PSA tests)
- Sexual function
Maintaining a healthy weight helps survivors to cope with side effects and lowers the risk of developing other health conditions. Healthy eating can reduce the risk of recurrence.
Sexual function is important as nearly all patients will experience some level of erectile dysfunction for the first few months following treatment. We can discuss treatment options including oral medications, mechanical vacuum devices and surgical treatments.
In terms of continence, urinary dysfunction is a common side effect of prostate cancer surgery due to damage to the nerves and muscles used for urinary control. We have options available to reduce symptoms such as incontinence pads, surgical procedures and medications.
It’s important to continue regular checkups after cancer treatment and report any new symptoms to your doctor. Screening for prostate cancer is an important part of survivorship but screening for other types of cancers such as bladder cancer, small intestine cancer, thyroid cancer and melanoma.