Veterans Prostate Cancer 101 Brochure

MANAGING SIDE EFFECTS The side effects from treatment can range from temporary to long term incontinence, trouble controlling your bladder, and erectile dysfunction, to other issues such as pain and depression. Talk with your doctor to learn how potential side effects can be managed. Side effects may include: • Incontinence: Surgery (prostatectomy) and radiation therapy can cause muscle damage that disrupts the way the bladder holds and discharges urine. • Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction, or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, is a common side effect following prostatectomy and radiation therapy. • Depression/Anxiety: Feelings of sadness, anger, and anxiety are common for people going through a major challenge like cancer. If you are having trouble coping, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Joining a support group may also be helpful. TIP

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR Before starting treatment, you should talk to your doctor about your options. You may want to seek a second opinion or even talk to several different doctors about all treatment options, their side effects, and the expected results.

QUESTIONS FOR THE DOC What are all of my treatment options?

What treatment do you recommend based on my stage and risk group? Why?

What are the potential side effects of the treatments we discussed?

How can these side effects be managed?

How will treatment affect my normal activities? Will it affect my sex life? Will I have urinary problems? Will I have bowel problems?

What will my treatment schedule be?

Am I eligible for a clinical trial?

How will you work with the VA for my care?

How can I find support and resources to help pay for my cancer treatment?

What questions haven't I asked?






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