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How to Prevent Incontinence in the Early Stages of Prostate Cancer

Published by Sagar Luthra
How to Prevent Incontinence in the Early Stages of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a common condition that affects many men worldwide. One of the potential side effects of treatment, especially in the early stages, is urinary incontinence. However, there are steps you can take to minimise the risk and manage the condition effectively. In this article, we'll explore some strategies for preventing urinary incontinence and maintaining your quality of life during prostate cancer treatment.

Understanding the Connection: Prostate Cancer and Incontinence

Treatment for prostate cancer, like surgery or radiation therapy, can damage the muscles and nerves that regulate bladder function, resulting in urinary incontinence. This condition can vary from mild leakage to complete loss of bladder control. Fortunately proactive measures exist that can minimise the impact on daily life – let's take a look at them now:  

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Exercise regularly: Engage in pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control urination. Kegel exercises, in particular, can be beneficial.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Include foods rich in fiber to prevent constipation, which can put pressure on the bladder and worsen incontinence.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your urine diluted and reduce irritation to the bladder.

Treatment Options

  • Discuss with your healthcare team: Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential side effects of prostate cancer treatment, including incontinence, and explore strategies to minimize the risk.
  • Consider active surveillance: For some men with low-risk prostate cancer, active surveillance may be a suitable option, which involves closely monitoring the cancer without immediate treatment.


  • Pre-surgery preparation: If you're undergoing surgery, such as a radical prostatectomy, prepare by doing pelvic floor exercises before the procedure. This can help strengthen the muscles and improve recovery.
  • Post-surgery care: After surgery, follow your healthcare provider's advice on managing catheters and gradually increasing physical activity.

Seek Support

  • Join a support group: Connecting with others who have experienced or are experiencing prostate cancer and incontinence can provide valuable insights and emotional support.
  • Talk to a counsellor: Consider speaking with a counsellor or therapist to address any emotional or psychological challenges you may face during treatment.

Monitor Symptoms

  • Keep a bladder diary: Track your fluid intake, urinary frequency, and episodes of incontinence to identify patterns and discuss them with your healthcare provider.
  • Report changes: Inform your healthcare team about any changes in your urinary function, as early detection and intervention can help prevent worsening of incontinence.

While prostate cancer and its treatment can increase the risk of urinary incontinence, there are proactive steps you can take to minimise this risk and manage the condition effectively. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, educating yourself about treatment options, preparing for surgery, seeking support, and monitoring your symptoms, you can maintain your quality of life and reduce the impact of incontinence on your daily life during treatment. Remember, it's important to work closely with your healthcare team to develop a personalised plan that meets your unique needs and preferences.