Dealing with Cancer and Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 3 million men were living with prostate cancer in 2014 (the most recent year for which stats are available). This type of cancer is most common in men in the United States, after non-melanoma skin cancer. Some treatments for prostate cancer can lead to incontinence. Men’s Liberty has been providing products to help men manage incontinence since 2006, with over 4 million units sold to men to help them live their life with dignity and minimal disruption.
Types of incontinence include accidental leakage of urine or stress incontinence. You may experience unintended dribbling with laughing, coughing or exertion such as during lifting or exercise. Stress incontinence is the most common. One way to manage it is to empty your bladder frequently. Avoid waiting too long between bathroom visits because the muscles that hold urine in the bladder can weaken with prostate cancer and treatment.
Overactive bladder or urge incontinence is another type. Here you may experience a strong urge to urinate, even when the bladder is not full. This type of incontinence is common with prostate infection or irritation of the bladder. Because the bladder is unable to hold urine you may experience urinary frequency or unintentional release, which can occur at any time, even during sleep.
Overflow incontinence is the type of incontinence associated with difficulty emptying the bladder. Common causes are scar tissue, blockage or weakened bladder muscles. The bladder simply can’t move the urine out. Reduced urine stream and leakage may occur.
Grab the bull by the horns
Incontinence is inconvenient, but it does not need to be totally disruptive. It is a pervasive health issue that impacts millions of men. Incontinence is best dealt with head-on.
First, acknowledge whatever feelings you have about being diagnosed with prostate cancer and dealing with incontinence. You may feel disappointment, frustration, anger, a shifting sense of self…understand that whatever you are feeling is normal.
Next, talk to your health care provider. Sometimes there are things you can do, such as lose weight or quit smoking – both reduce stress and irritation on the bladder. You can modify your diet. Alcohol, caffeine and citrus can also irritate your bladder and exacerbate incontinence. Often men find themselves frustrated by incontinence, but you can shift your focus to what you can do. Researchers and doctors are learning more about prostate cancer and managing incontinence. Explore the latest treatment modalities and responses with your health care provider. Being proactive about your health, treatment plan and recovery can help you feel more in control.
You can count on Men’s Liberty, too. We offer an innovative incontinence solution that helps you stay dry 24/7, only needs to be changed once a day, and makes it easier for you to live your life with dignity and minimal disruption.