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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The prostate is the male sex gland that helps make semen. It is about the size of a walnut and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the end of the penis. In most cases, prostate cancer is slow growing.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- Your leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You cough up blood.
Call your doctor if:
- You have a fever.
- You feel you cannot cope with your illness.
- You have blood in your urine or have trouble urinating.
- You have pain that does not decrease or go away after you take your medicine.
- You have trouble having an erection.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Hormone therapy is medicine used to decrease testosterone (male hormone) levels.
- Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Manage your prostate cancer:
- Do not smoke. Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your prostate cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and delays healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol as directed. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks per day. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 5 ounces of wine.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Your healthcare provider may also recommend changes to the amounts of calcium and vitamin D you have each day.
- Manage your weight. Obesity may increase your risk for problems from prostate cancer. Limit or do not have high-calorie foods or drinks.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise may help you recover after treatment and may help prevent your prostate cancer from returning. Exercise can also help you manage your weight. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, such as walking.
- Ask about sexual activity. Ask your healthcare provider when it is safe for you to start having sex after your treatment. Medicines may be given if you have trouble getting or maintaining an erection.
- Manage incontinence. You may have incontinence (trouble controlling when you urinate) after treatment. Ask your healthcare provider for information on managing urinary incontinence. You may be able to gain control over your urination with techniques or medicines.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drink extra liquids to prevent dehydration. You will also need to replace fluid if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments.
Follow up with your urologist or oncologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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