Bladder control may change after surgery or radiation therapy. Some women find they need to pass urine more often or in a hurry. Others may experience involuntary loss of urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh, strain or lift. This is called urinary incontinence.
Tips for managing urinary incontinence
- Strengthening the muscles needed for urinary control can help manage urinary incontinence. Watch this video on exercising pelvic floor muscles, or see Exercising after a cancer diagnosis.
- Using continence pads can help you manage any leakage and prevent any loss of dignity. A continence nurse or physiotherapist can develop a bladder training program – ask your doctor for a referral, or contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 or at Continence Foundation Australia.
|The blood vessels in the bowel and bladder can become more fragile after radiation therapy. This can cause blood to appear in urine or stools, even months or years after treatment. Let your doctor know if this occurs so you can be given the appropriate treatment.|
A/Prof Penny Blomfield, Gynaecological Oncologist, Hobart Women’s Specialists, and Chair, Australian Society of Gynaecological Oncologists, TAS; Karina Campbell, Consumer; Carmen Heathcote, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Dr Pearly Khaw, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Jim Nicklin, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor Gynaecologic Oncology, The University of Queensland; Prof Martin K Oehler, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Dr Megan Smith, Program Manager – Cervix, Cancer Council NSW; Pauline Tanner, Cancer Nurse Coordinator – Gynaecology, WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, WA; Tamara Wraith, Senior Clinician, Physiotherapy Department, The Royal Women’s Hospital, VIC. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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Life after cancer treatment
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