Prostate Cancer - No man is an Island
Prostate cancer is the number 2 cancer killer of males in Australia. With 12,000 males living each year with the diagnosis of prostate cancer, many are or will be living with the post-operative health issues associated with prostate cancer. Blokes being blokes, may put issues on the back burner with a 'she'll be right mate' attitude.
Sure, a lot of things improve with time, but not prostate cancer. A much better approach is to get educated, get involved, and start preparing and planning. Commonly prostate cancer is diagnosed in later years and as a result, there can be other related health issues for men when they find out they have prostate cancer.
Our recommendation is that as soon as you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, consider getting your physical body into order. Doug can assist you to develop and follow an appropriate exercise program, with specific emphasis on learning how to develop your pelvic floor. We offer a pelvic floor imaging service, during which you will learn to correctly turn on and off your pelvic floor. Seeing is believing, and knowing that you are performing correct pelvic floor contractions is vital. One side effect of surgery is urinary incontinence and research has shown that undertaking a 'pre-operative' program for 6 weeks significantly strengthens your pelvic floor pre-operation and reduces the time to achieve your goal of being dry again post-operation.
Key factors to consider that are associated with prostate cancer are;
- Overall physical condition (i.e., starting sooner is better)
- Learn relaxation techniques and ensure you are achieving a quality 7-8 hours of sleep a night
- Pelvic floor health and awareness (learn correct technique using a real-time ultrasound machine)
- Urinary incontinence (i.e., engage with your pelvic floor, build awareness, strength and endurance)
- Erectile dysfunction (i.e., tools need to be used to be useful. If you are having problems, vacuum therapy is a great assistant). We supply and can explain the use of the Vacurect Erection Enhancement System.
Chronic Pelvic Pain
Chronic Pelvic Pain, (or Pudendal Neuralgia) is a very complex and misunderstood condition. Just like the sciatic nerve which refers pain from the lower back/buttocks and into the legs (with or without pins and needles) the pudendal nerve when irritated causes problems in and around the genitalia. Once irritated the pudendal nerve causes a range of symptoms involving the bladder, bowel, and male genitalia;
- Severe pain in the pelvis, testicles, or rectum
- Overactive or painful bladder symptoms
- Sexual dysfunction (erectile or ejaculatory)
Following a detailed assessment and with an understanding of the relevant anatomy, your Physiotherapist can offer a range of treatments that will also involve lifestyle solutions.
Prostate Recovery Plan - M.A.P. - Craig Allingham
Physiotherapist with a strong interest in post-prostate cancer and developing a physical recovery plan for incontinence. Available for purchase at Esperance Physiotherapy.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia - www.pcfa.org.au
- General prostate information booklets. Download or read online.
Pelvic Floor Training
Pelvic Floor awareness and training (video)
Beyond Blue Maintaining Your Well Being - www.beyondblue.org.au
- Information booklet discussing anxiety and depression for men with prostate cancer
Conquering Incontinence - Peter Dornan
Peter is a physiotherapist who had one of the earliest radical prostatectomies. He writes about finding out how to cure himself and continue to achieve his life's goals. A real groundbreaking story.
Facing the Tiger - Suzanne Chambers
Psychologist and nurse writes about the importance of mental preparation for men and their loved ones for the challenges ahead when dealing with prostate cancer.
Redefining Prostate Cancer - Lamm, Lepor & Sperling
Co-authored by a men's health internist, research & clinical urologist, and interventional radiologist, this book explores the research evidence of different treatment options for prostate cancer. Written in an easy-to-read style it ranges from the preventative stage, treatment pros and cons to lie after treatment. It is filled with case studies and patient checklists to assist in discussion with your GP and medical team.