Men's Pelvic Health: working with prostate cancer patients

16th May 2022

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, and 1 in 8 men in the UK are affected by it. If you are a trans woman or are non-binary assigned male at birth, you will also need to be aware of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can be cured if caught in the early stages.

The prostate is a small gland, located in the pelvis, between the penis and the bladder, and is about the size of a walnut. Its main job is to help make semen. Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled manner. Some prostate cancers grow very slowly and don’t cause any problems or require any treatment. However, other prostate cancers grow quickly and are more likely to spread, and therefore need treatment to stop it spreading. Treatment my include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, cryotherapy and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

The risk factors for Prostate Cancer are:

  • Age (increased if over 50 years of age)
  • Ethnicity (increased if you’re Black)
  • Family History
  • Increased Body Weight

You can use this quick risk checker to measure your risk.

Symptoms can include:

  • needing to urinate more frequently, especially at night
  • difficulty urinating, such as a weak flow, difficulty starting to urinate or feeling as if your bladder hasn’t completely emptied
  • a sense of urgency when you need to urinate
  • blood in your urine or semen
  • rarely, pain when urinating or ejaculating

If you think you have any symptoms, speak to your GP for further tests.

Studies have shown that pre-operative Physiotherapy can reduce anxiety and improve recovery for patients with prostate cancer. Pre-operative physiotherapy may include education and advice regarding your surgery, healing times, precautions and complications and pelvic floor exercise. We may also use real-time ultrasound to ensure that you are contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly.

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help you with recovery from the effects of treatment or surgery for prostate cancer. Following treatment, many men may experience problems such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bladder or bowel urgency. At the White Hart Clinic our Specialist Physiotherapist will assess your pelvic floor function, either using an internal examination and/or real time ultrasound, and provide you with an appropriate tailored exercise program, as well as lots of education and advice. Treatment may also include instruction on how to use a vacuum erection device (VED) for rehabilitation purposes. We can also provide you with a program for general strengthening and fitness to help you get back to your normal life and achieve any sports and exercise goals you may have.

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