Myth 1: Prostate cancer surgery will end your sex life and cause urine leakage.
Fact: Your surgeon may be able to spare the nerves that help trigger erections. That means you should be able to have an erection strong enough for sex again. But it may be a while. Recovery can take from 4 to 24 months, maybe longer. Younger men usually heal sooner.
If you just learned that you or a loved one has advanced prostate cancer, you may have many questions and concerns. By taking the time to research your condition, you've taken a good first step. Here are answers to the most common questions. After looking over these answers, click on other articles in this guide to find in-depth information about treatments, side effects, and other issues that affect you and your family.
You might leak urine after surgery, but it’s usually short-term. Within a year, about 95% of men have as much bladder control as they did before the operation.
Myth 2: Only elderly men get prostate cancer.
Fact: It’s rare for men under 40 to get it. If you have concerns, ask your doctor if you should get tested earlier. Age isn’t the only factor. Others include:
Family history: If your father or brother had it, you could be two or three times more likely to get it. The more relatives you have with the disease, the greater your chances of getting it.
Race: African-American men are more likely to get it than anyone else. Scientists don’t know why.
Discuss your risks with your doctor so you can decide together when you should be tested.
Myth 3: You have to start treatment right away.
Fact: You and your doctor may decide not to treat your prostate cancer. Reasons include:
It’s in an early stage and is growing very slowly.
You’re elderly or have other illnesses. Prostate cancer treatment may not prolong your life and may make it harder to care for your other health problems.
In such cases, your doctor will likely suggest “active surveillance.” This means that he’ll check you often and order tests to see if your cancer is getting worse. If your situation changes, you may decide to start treatment.