Using Palliative Care To Ease Discomfort
For both urinary and bowel incontinence that is caused by compression of nerves in the spinal cord as a result of prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or bones, palliative treatments for metastasized cancer may be of use. These treatments include radiotherapy, medication, or surgical removal of spinal cord tumors. However, these treatment options are not indicated for every situation. Your doctor will help you determine what path is right for you and to improve your quality of life. As always, coping with quality of life symptoms like these can take a toll on an individual or their caretaker both mentally and physically. For this reason, it can be a good idea to consult a therapist or counselor if needed for extra support.
Importance Of Regular Screenings
These common signs and symptoms can be attributed to several other medical conditions or causes. For instance, ED can simply be caused by stress, and pain can be attributed to a pulled muscle or other injury.
So how do you know when any of these red flags are signaling prostate cancer? Only your doctor can determine the root cause of any of these problems. With one in nine men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States, its important to receive regular prostate cancer screenings and to inform your doctor of any new signs or symptoms right away.
Treatment For Anal Fissures
Here are some ways you can treat your anal fissure on your own:
- Follow a high-fiber diet or take fiber supplements to make your bowel movements softer. For more information, read our resource Food Sources of Fiber.
- Drink 8 glasses of water daily to help prevent hard bowel movements.
- Take warm sitz baths for 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day and after bowel movements. A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses your anus.
- You can use your bathtub or buy at your local pharmacy a plastic sitz bathtub that fits over your toilet.
There are also medications you can take to help treat anal fissures. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about the benefits and side effects of these medications. Examples of these medications include:
- Take stool softeners or laxatives , such as Docusate Sodium or Senna , to make your bowel movements softer. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to take this medication if needed.
- Apply a topical local anesthetic , like lidocaine , around your anus to help with the pain.
- Apply a medication to relax the muscles around your anal canal. Relaxing the muscles around your anal canal can help reduce pressure, relieve pain, and make it easier for you to have a bowel movement.
- Your healthcare provider will give you a prescription for one of these medications, such as topical diltiazem or nitroglycerin ointment, and tell you how to apply it. Make sure to wear disposable gloves when applying these medications.
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Bowel Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer Treatment
The broad term of bowel dysfunction includes:
Diarrhea or frequent stools
Fecal incontinence or the inability to control bowel movements
All of these side effects are far more common following external beam radiotherapy than any other primary therapy, but as techniques and dose planning strategies improve, even these rates have been dropping.
Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
Because the prostate is positioned so close to the bladder, penis and rectum, most disorders which cause enlargement of the prostate share several basic symptoms. These include:
- An urgent, at times uncontrollable, need to urinate, which may lead to incontinence if the person canât make it to the bathroom in time
- Trouble urinating
- Sexual problems and loss of sex drive
- Postcoital pain
In the case of prostate cancer there may be no immediate symptoms, or there may be urinary symptoms like those listed above. In addition, there may be symptoms such as:
- Hematuria or blood in semen
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Back, especially lower back, hip or pelvic pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Good to know: A lot of the urinary symptoms above could also be caused by diabetes or may be related to the use of certain medications. If any of these symptoms are detected, it is of paramount importance that a physician is consulted and the cause diagnosed, so that appropriate next steps can be taken.
Worried you may have an enlarged prostate? Start your free symptom assessment in the Ada app.
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How Is Constipation Treated
Treatment of constipation depends on its cause. Your provider may recommend a bowel regimen using fiber and/or laxatives.
- A fiber supplement may be helpful to relieve constipation that is not caused by pain medications. This is often the first treatment tried.
- Polyethylene glycol 3350 is an osmotic laxative. It works by causing stool to retain, or hold on to water. This makes the stool softer so it is easier to pass. It can be used to relieve constipation or taken regularly to help chronic constipation.
- A stimulant laxative works by stimulating peristalsis, moving the stool through the bowel. These should only be used for a few days.
- You may need to combine these medications to find what works best for you. Your care team can help you make a plan.
Do not use enemas unless told to do so by your care team. If you do not have a bowel movement in 3 or more days, talk with your provider about a stronger medication. If you have any questions about constipation or need more information, ask your provider.
Chronic Constipation: A Strain For Men
When the topic of guts comes up in the locker room, most men are talking about courage on the field, not results in the bathroom. Bowel function is not a guy thing, but chronic constipation sure is, particularly for older men. Here are some things you should know about a topic you may never talk about outside your doctors office.
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Bladder And Bowel Incontinence
Incontinence is a loss of control of a persons bowels or bladder which can cause accidental leakage of body fluids and waste. Incontinence can be more than a physical problem. It can disrupt your quality of life if its not managed well.
Fear, anxiety, and anger are common feelings for people dealing with incontinence. You may avoid being intimate or having sex because you are afraid of urine, gas, or stool leakage. Fear of having an accident may keep you from being physically active, enjoying hobbies, or spending extended time outside your home.
Both men and women can have incontinence during and after surgery or some other treatments for cancer. Incontinence can also occur because of other non-cancer medical conditions. Be sure to talk to your health care team if you have difficulty controlling urination or bowels. Talking about incontinence can be embarrassing, but being open and honest with your health care team can help manage it.
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How May My Constipation Be Treated
Constipation is a common side effect or unwanted change in your body when you have chemotherapy treatment. Constipation can make you feel very uncomfortable. The most important thing for you to remember is to not let your constipation go on for days and days, but to get help right away. If you do not have a bowel movement for two days, you should tell your health care team right away. There are medicines that your doctor or health care team can give to you that will make your constipation better.
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Causes Of Prostate Cancer
There is no clear causative factor which causes prostate cancer. Some studies show that prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate develop changes in their DNA. A cells altered DNA tells the cell to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells do. These cells do not enter into the Apoptosis phenomenon and gets accumulated to form tumor.
How Is Prostate Disease Treated
Treatment depends on the diagnosis, and the type of disease that is present.
Diseases associated with excessive hormone levels are typically treated by neutering the dog. Because testosterone and estrogen are both formed in the testicles, neutering is generally an effective treatment. The prostate will return to its normal size within one month after surgery. Certain medications or hormone replacements, such as finasteride, megestrol acetate, and GnRH, may be used to treat specific prostatic conditions.
Paraprostatic cysts and prostatic abscesses require surgery to drain and remove them.
Diseases involving primary or secondary bacterial infections are treated with aggressive and prolonged antibiotic therapy. Because it is difficult for antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate gland, treatment for several weeks to months is usually necessary. Antibiotics that can penetrate the prostate include enrofloxacin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, chlorhamphenicol, doxycycline, and trimethoprim-sulfonamides each having varying pros and cons. Since the prostatic infections are typically secondary to another disease, treating the prostatic infection is only part of the overall treatment.
âBecause it is difficult for antibiotics to penetrate into the prostate gland, treatment for several weeks to months is usually necessary.â
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Neurologic Complications Of Prostate Cancer
RAMSIS BENJAMIN, M.D., M.P.H., Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Am Fam Physician. 2002 May 1 65:1834-1841.
This article exemplifies the AAFP 2002 Annual Clinical Focus on cancer: prevention, detection, management, support, and survival.
Neurologic complications continue to pose problems in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. From 15 to 30 percent of metastases are the result of prostate cancer cells traveling through Batson’s plexus to the lumbar spine. Metastatic disease in the lumbar area can cause spinal cord compression. Metastasis to the dura and adjacent parenchyma occurs in 1 to 2 percent of patients with metastatic prostate cancer and is more common in those with tumors that do not respond to hormone-deprivation therapy. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, the most frequent form of brain metastasis in prostate cancer, has a grim prognosis. Because neurologic complications of metastatic prostate cancer require prompt treatment, early recognition is important. Physicians should consider metastasis in the differential diagnosis of new-onset low back pain or headache in men more than 50 years of age. Spinal cord compression requires immediate treatment with intravenously administered corticosteroids and pain relievers, as well as prompt referral to an oncologist for further treatment.
More Common Neurologic Complications in Patients with Metastatic Prostate Cancer*
? = unknown.
? = unknown.
What Can I Do To Manage My Constipation
Just as every cancer patients treatment is different, the way each person responds to his treatment is also different. While one person may have constipation, another may not. However, there are things you can do to help deal with this treatment side effect.
- Do not take any over-the-counter medicines for your constipation without talking to your doctor or health care team.
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. It is important to put back the fluids you lose. A glass of warm liquid when you first get up in the morning may start your bowels moving.
- Add more fiber to your diet. Eat more whole grains, such as bran muffins and cereals, wheat germ, and whole wheat bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and prunes or prune juice.
- Eat fewer fatty foods .
- Increase your daily exercise. Even a daily walk can help relieve constipation.
- Try not to push hard during bowel movements. This will lower your chance of getting hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around your anus, which are itchy or painful.
- Speak to your doctor and health care team about medicines you can take to help you.
Plan For Managing Your Constipation
- What foods and drinks will help relieve your constipation?
- What foods should you stay away from if you have constipation?
- How do you get in touch with your doctor or health care team if you need help?
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The Role Of Magnesium
Magnesium helps with bowel movements in at least two ways.
Most of us dont get the amount of magnesium from our food, which is one of the reasons why we are so constipated.Certain foods are magnesium rich, and are highly recommended for getting the proper amount of magnesium in ones diet.
Another way to get needed magnesium is with a magnesium supplement.
For those dealing with cancer constipation, a magnesium supplement may be a real lifesaver, as it may be possible to regulate ones stool to a mush that can better move past obstructions in the colon.
Symptoms Of Anal Fissures
Anal fissures may cause:
- A sharp, stinging pain during bowel movements. This pain may last for a few minutes to a few hours after a bowel movement. You may also feel a cutting or tearing feeling during your bowel movements.
- The pain may cause you to hold in your bowel movements, making you constipated.
- This can lead you to have a harder bowel movement, which can make your anal fissure worse.
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What Is An Enlarged Prostate
The prostate is a small gland, usually about the size of a walnut, that is situated just below the bladder and above the penis. The urethra passes through the prostate, which produces fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen. When the prostate enlarges, it places pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which can cause urinary problems.
The prostate is made up of four zones:
- Peripheral zone. The area most easily felt during the standard digital rectal exam and the zone from which prostate cancer tends to develop.
- Transition zone. This surrounds the part of the urethra that passes through the prostate. It enlarges as men age, causing benign prostatic hyperplasia and consequent urinary symptoms.
- Central zone
- Anterior fibromuscular stroma
The prostate can become enlarged for a variety of reasons. The most common are:
Diagnosing Back Pain And Prostate Cancer
A doctors first step in finding out the cause of back pain typically is to take an image, usually an X-ray or CT scan.
For men who have early stage or localized prostate cancer, that it would spread to the bone is very unusual, says Chris Filson, a doctor at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center. However, if a patient has more advanced prostate cancer, we have to do additional tests to ensure theres no involvement of the cancer in the bone.
A doctor who suspects or already has diagnosed prostate cancer will look for characteristic changes in the bone. The X-ray or CT scan also can indicate how much of your spine is affected and where.
In addition, an MRI can detect problems that an X-ray or CT scan cant.
Chiropractors are often the ones who first spot or suggest the presence of prostate cancer. Joint pain, especially back pain, often sends people to chiropractic care when they dont have any other symptoms of prostate cancer.
Whether youre seeing a chiropractor or medical doctor, be sure to provide your complete medical history. This can help your doctor diagnose your back pain. Its especially important to mention any personal or family history of cancer.
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How Constipation Affects Your Prostate
Last Updated on October 11, 2020 by Max
Constipation is one of the most harmful conditions for your health. As I mentioned earlier, the prostate is located in the vicinity to the rectum, and with age, it may enlarge several times in size, even pressing into the wall of the rectum. When your bowel works correctly, the feces are eliminated in time, and the level of exogenous and endogenous toxins in the feces is low, the wall of the rectum performs its barrier function perfectly even if the content of the bowel had a high level of toxins, their exposure time to the wall of the colon is short.
Now lets try to understand what is happening in your bowel when you are constipated? How constipation affects your prostate? First of all, the balance of healthy gut microbiota may change sulfate- or nitrate reducing bacteria multiply, producing more and more carcinogenic toxins. When the concentration of toxins in your bowel is too high, they begin to leak outside, causing inflammation of the prostate and may lead to prostatitis or even to prostate cancer.
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Bowel Incontinence And Prostate Cancer Treatment
Just as the ways to develop urinary or bowel incontinence are numerous, so are their potential outcomes. In many instances, urinary or bowel incontinence after prostate cancer treatment resolves on its own, as an individual is recovering from the treatment. For example, after radiation therapy, an individual may lose control of their bladder, but this may resolve without any intervention within a few weeks or months. On the other side, there is a possibility that during treatment the nerves or muscles that control these processes can get damaged permanently, and the incontinence may not subside on its own. Before treatment, and even immediately after, its very hard to predict if youll have these issues, and for how long they may last.
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