When to Seek Help for Side Effects

When to Seek Help for Side Effects

Some form of erectile, urinary, and bowel dysfunction is normal following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. But it’s important to realize that not all symptoms are normal, and some require immediate care.

The Symptom: Erection lasting more than four hours or an increasingly cold, bluish penis following vacuum constriction
The Danger: Lack of fresh circulating oxygenated blood can cause damage to the penile tissue

The Symptom: Inability to urinate or incomplete emptying of the bladder
The Danger: A backup of urine can cause infections and bladder or kidney damage

The Symptom: Constipation lasting for more than four days
The Danger: A backup of stool can cause infections and damage to the bowel

The Symptom: Excessive and/or uncontrolled diarrhea
The Danger: Too much water loss that accompanies diarrhea can lead to dehydration, lightheadedness, fainting, and collapse

The Symptom: Excessive and/or continuous rectal or bladder bleeding
The Danger: Too much blood loss can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, and collapse or other serious problems; blood clots in the bladder can block the passage of urine

The Symptom: Fever
The Danger: Low white cell count from chemotherapy, can be a sign of infection

The Symptom: Numbness or weakness
The Danger: Neuropathy caused by chemotherapy can progress if not noticed