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Side Effects of Prostate Cancer

Each treatment for prostate cancer comes with side effects. Knowing about the side effects before deciding on a treatment path can help you make the best decision and be more prepared.

A Black man sitting on the edge of his bed with his hands together

Every prostate cancer treatment comes with possible side effects. Just as prostate cancer varies from person to person, the side effects experienced will vary from person to person. Fortunately, doctors work hard so that you will experience minimal side effects as a result of treatment.

The most common side effects of prostate cancer treatment are urinary incontinence (the inability to control your bladder) and erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve a full erection). These potential changes can impact your self esteem and personal relationships. Before deciding on a treatment, talk with your doctor and learn about possible side effects and how you will work together to manage them.

Informations graphic about prostate cancer treatments and possible side effects

Common side effects

Side effects are a large part of a prostate cancer diagnosis and many times are the most worrying aspect of prostate cancer. Erectile dysfunction (ED) and incontinence are two side effects many men will experience, particularly if receiving treatment for localized (early stage) prostate cancer.

Additional side effects

In addition to ED and incontinence, other side effects can include infertility, depression and other mental health challenges, and fatigue. Learn more about some of the most common side effects patients face. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of side effects. Consult your doctor or care team to learn about additional side effects you might face.

Additional Resources for Side Effect Management

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has put together the following guides on supportive care for cancer patients.