Quality of Life After Prostate Cancer

For many men, the decision of which treatment to seek for prostate cancer has as much to do with long term side effects and quality of life after treatment as it does with cancer cure. Many patients find that they have several equally effective options for cancer cure with differing short and long term side effects.

Long-term, serious side effects of prostate cancer surgery are somewhat less common now than in the past, as new surgical methods continue to be introduced. Nerve-sparing surgical procedures may prevent permanent injury to the nerves that control erection (impotence), and damage to the opening of the bladder (incontinence). However, possible complications and side effects of prostate cancer surgery still exist.

For both surgery and radiation treatment options, possible side effects include:

  • urinary frequency and/or urgency
  • burning sensation with urination
  • slow urinary flow
  • bruised and tender perineum
  • blood in the urine
  • mild rectal irritation
  • temporary impotency

Prostate cancer patients must be actively involved in choosing between several equally effective treatment methods. Patients should be encouraged to research the various options and make their decision taking into account their quality of life concerns along with their work and home life schedules. Although a diagnosis of cancer can be an intimidating experience, the more you are informed about the options available to you the more equipped you will be to make the decision that is best for you.

We encourage you to contact our Patient Navigator at (678) 843-5665 or renee.sevy@emoryhealthcare.org with any questions regarding treatment for prostate cancer at Saint Joseph's. We're here to help.

Information on this page is provided collaboratively by the team at the Prostate Cancer Center at Saint Joseph's and has been medically reviewed by Peter J. Rossi, MD, 2012. Claims regarding treatment are based on years of clinical experience and industry reported data. The PCC follows American Urological Association and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines for the treatment of prostate cancer.