Urinary incontinence, or the loss of the capability to manage urination, prevails in men who have had surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. You must prepare for this possibility and understand that, for a while, a minimum of, urinary incontinence may complicate your life.
There are various types of urinary incontinence and varying degrees of severity. Some men dribble urine, whereas others will experience a total leakage. Loss of urine with a cough, sneeze or laugh is called stress incontinence and is the most common type of urine leakage men experience after prostate surgery. On the other hand, the have to regularly urinate with episodes of leakage is the type seen most often after radiation treatment. Physicians continue to enhance treatments for prostate cancer to reduce post-surgery and post-radiation incontinence.
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Why Do Prostate Cancer Treatments Cause Urinary Incontinence?
It helps to understand a bit about how the bladder holds urine. When urine is emptied into the bladder from the kidneys, it is kept inside the bladder till you have the desire to urinate. The bladder is a hollow, muscular, balloon-shaped organ. Urine drains of the bladder, and leaves the body through a tube called the urethra. Urination occurs when the muscles in the wall of the bladder agreement, requiring urine out of the bladder. At the same time, muscles that surround the urethra unwind and enable the flow of urine. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra. Since a bigger prostate gland can obstruct the urethra, it can cause urination retention or other problems with urination.
Eliminating the prostate through surgery or destroying it through radiation (either with an external beam or with radioactive seed implants) disrupts the way the bladder holds urine and can lead to urine leakage. Radiation can reduce the capability of the bladder and cause spasms that require urine out. Surgery can, sometimes, damage the nerves that help control bladder function.
What About New Techniques That Reduce the Chance of Becoming Incontinent?
When removing the prostate, cosmetic surgeons try to conserve as much of the area around the bladder and the sphincter muscles around the urethra, therefore restricting damage to the sphincter, according to iytmed.com. Medical professionals have also fine-tuned the process of placing radioactive seed implants, using advanced computer forecasts that enable the seeds to destroy the prostate while restricting damage to the bladder.
Still, at this point, any man who is going through radiation or surgery to treat prostate cancer should expect to develop some problems with urinary control. With more recent strategies, some men will have only temporary problems controlling their urine, and numerous will gain back complete control of their bladder in time.
What Can Be Done to Treat Urinary Incontinence after Prostate Cancer Treatment?
- Pelvic floor exercises. Numerous medical professionals choose to begin with behavioral methods that instruction men to control their ability to keep in their urine. Kegel exercises reinforce the muscles you squeeze when trying to stop urinating mid-stream. These exercises can be combined with biofeedback programs that help you train these muscles even better.
- Supportive care. This treatment consists of habits adjustment, such as consuming fewer fluids, preventing caffeine, alcohol, or hot foods, and not drinking before bedtime. Individuals are motivated to urinate regularly and not wait up until the last minute possible before doing so. In some people, slimming down might lead to improved urinary control. Helpful care also includes changing any medications that disrupt incontinence.
- Medication. A range of medications can increase bladder capacity and decrease frequency of urination. In the near future, newer medications will become available to help stop some other kinds of urinary leakage.
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation. This treatment is used to retrain and enhance weak urinary muscles and improve bladder control. With this treatment, a probe is inserted into the rectum and an existing is travelled through the probe at a level listed below the pain limit, triggering a contraction. The patient is advised to squeeze the muscles when the existing is on. After the contraction, the existing is switched off.
- Surgery, injections, and devices. A number of strategies might enhance bladder function.
- Artificial sphincter. This patient-controlled device is made from 3 parts: a pump, a pressure-regulating balloon, and a cuff that surrounds the urethra and prevents urine from leaking. Using the synthetic sphincter can treat or considerably improve more than 70% to 80% of the patients.
- Bulbourethral sling. For some types of leakage, a sling can be used. A sling is a device used to suspend and compress the urethra. It is made from synthetic material or from the patient’s own tissue and is used to produce the urethral compression necessary to accomplish bladder control.
- Other surgery. Your doctor can likewise do a surgery that has helped some men. It includes placing rubber rings around the pointer of the bladder to help hold urine.