increased risk of rectal cancer.(livestrong.com).
Sources also report that patients undergoing prostatic radiation therapy may suffer from diarrhea. However, this side effect typically disappears once treatment ceases. After the bowel tissue recovers from the effects of radiation patients may be able to anticipate normal bowel functioning (---).
A third possible side effect from radiation treatment may be inflammation of the bladder. According to medical sources, inflammation of the bladder lining causes a frequent urge to urinate accompanied by pain during urination. Bleeding may also result from radiation treatment of the prostate and can be observed in the urine which may appear brown, red or pink. These symptoms usually discontinue after radiation treatment is complete. The National Cancer Institute asserts that patients who undergo prostatic radiation treatment may increase their chances of succumbing to bladder cancer also (---).
Urinary incontinence is also a side effect from receiving radiation for prostate cancer. Incontinence as a result from receiving prostatic radiation may or may not be permanent. In some cases, men may experience a subtle dribble of urine loss whereas other patients may experience complete loss of control and total voiding of the urinary bladder. Uncontrolled voiding of the urinary bladder may be brought on by so much as a sneeze, a cough or simply by laughing. Men experiencing this side effect may be required to wear proper undergarments in order to avoid embarrassing moments while in a public setting. Fortunately, treatments for prostate cancer continue to improve which help more men to eventually regain full urinary control within time (webmd.com).
Diminished or impaired erectile functioning is also a potential side effect of prostatic radiation treatment. Particularly, the occurrence of erectile dysfunction appears to increase over time after prostatic therapy is complete. A 2010 study published a report involving 394 men who completed internal radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Within six months fifteen percent of the subjects experienced erectile dysfunction. Notably, more than forty percent of men suffered from erectile dysfunction at five years post-treatment (www.livestrong.com).
Hardships Faced By Those Who Interact with Sufferers of Prostate Cancer
Generally speaking, most prostate cancer sufferers are older men who are already enjoying their retirement. However, there have been cases of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in their forties. Men in this age bracket are still usually plugging away within the workforce to financially support themselves. A working man who develops prostate cancer will more than likely need time away from work in order to fulfill his prognostic protocol. Scheduling a convenient time for daily prostatic radiation treatment is not always an option. Depending on geography and availability of appointment times, a prostate cancer sufferer will more than likely need time off from work. This might result in only working half days or taking a temporary leave of absence. Fortunately there are laws in place which prevent cancer sufferers from losing their job due to illness.
With that being said, however, a cancer sufferer’s place of employment will have to procure alternatives in order to pick up the slack due to temporary absence. It may also be likely that the cancer sufferer’s time away from work is anticipated to be temporary. Depending on the nature of a man’s job position, the employer may request that the remaining employees share the absentee’s workload in order to pick up the slack. This may cause an elevated level of stress for other employees due to increased workload and possibly working longer hours than normal. An employer may be faced with having to exercise creativity in order to boost employee morale to keep employees happy and motivated.
Men who fall within the typical age bracket (after the age of seventy) to develop prostate cancer, more often than not are already retired and may be able to more easily adhere to daily radiation treatments. Difficulties arise, however, as older men become less independent and need to rely on family members to help them keep daily medical treatments. If a man is not widowed he may be able to rely on his spouse in order to keep up with appointments. If a prostate sufferer has children he might be able to rely on them to help maintain the rigorous schedule necessary for radiation therapy. Unfortunately, this will cause a strain on family members as daily appointments can add to the existing stress of modern day living. One benefit of having children is that they will be able to help the parent in time of need. But typically, adult offspring have dependent children and lives of their own. So not only does the threat of paternal loss loom in the air but family members must also make accommodations in order to ensure survival.
In addition to the stress associated with managing a rigorous schedule of daily appointments, the emotional stress experienced by loved once is substantial. Generally, when cancer is discovered that is all a doctor knows initially. However, determining staging and possible metastatic activity is not known until a later date. Upon receiving incomplete information, it is natural for people to fear the worst case scenario. Close family members and friends may experience bouts of depression and anxiety and fear. They will basically experience similar emotions that the prostate cancer sufferer is having. The ones most affected are the spouse and it may also be typical that a spouse feels helpless. Fortunately, man hospitals now offer support groups for prostate cancer sufferers and their spouses. In addition to being able to talk openly and express one’s self, hospitals are now providing both the sufferer and his spouse coping strategies in order to better handle the devastation of prostate cancer illness (webmd.com).