Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting men, particularly those over 50. The prostate is a small gland that produces seminal fluid, and cancer can develop when cells in this gland start to grow uncontrollably. Treatments often involve surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy, among other options. The condition and its treatments can significantly impact urinary function, leading to challenges such as urinary incontinence or urinary retention.
Challenges for Patients
Urinary issues are among the most common challenges for men dealing with prostate cancer or its aftermath. Surgical treatments like prostatectomies can result in temporary or even permanent incontinence, affecting one's quality of life. Moreover, some men experience urinary retention, where they find it difficult to empty their bladder completely. The psychological toll of coping with these physical challenges can also be significant, affecting mental well-being and interpersonal relationships.
For those experiencing urinary incontinence or retention, catheters can offer a valuable solution. Intermittent catheters, which are inserted only when needed to empty the bladder, are commonly recommended. Hydrophilic catheters, such as the GentleCath Glide, offer a more comfortable, low-friction insertion and removal, which can be beneficial for men experiencing sensitivity after surgery or radiation.
For severe cases of urinary retention or incontinence, indwelling (Foley) catheters might be considered. However, these come with their own set of risks, including urinary tract infections, and should be discussed in detail with your healthcare provider.