Other side effects
Treatment for prostate cancer may lead to a range of other concerns, but most of these can be managed.
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Although this is an uncommon side effect of radiation therapy, you may experience rectal bleeding after treatment. Even less commonly, you may feel the need to have a bowel movement urgently. A gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon may treat these bowel problems with changes to your diet, steroid suppositories (a tablet that you insert into the rectum through the anus) or other treatments applied to the bowel wall. For more information, talk to your radiation oncologist or a continence nurse.
Cancer treatment often makes people very tired. After surgery, it may take some time to get back your strength. With external beam radiation therapy, you may get particularly tired near the end of treatment and for some weeks or months afterwards.
Regular exercise can help reduce tiredness.
You may experience hot flushes if you are having ADT. Drinking less alcohol, avoiding hot drinks, getting regular exercise and learning relaxation techniques may help.
Loss of bone density can be a delayed side effect of ADT, so your specialist or GP may need to monitor your bone mineral density.
Because ADT can increase the risk of heart problems and strokes, your GP or specialist will monitor your heart function and may refer you to a dietitian or exercise physiologist for advice.
Other ADT side effects
The risk of weight gain, mood swings, enlarged breasts, decreased muscle mass, change in body shape, and high cholesterol increases the longer you use ADT.
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Dr Amy Hayden, Radiation Oncologist, Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, and Chair, Faculty of Radiation Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Head, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, and Visiting Urologist and Uro-Oncology Lead, Urology Department, Eastern Health, VIC; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological and Prostate Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ken Bezant, Consumer; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, and Clinical Strategy Lead, Oncology Australia, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics and The University of Western Australia, WA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and HeadwayHealth Clinical and Consulting Psychology Services, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Graham Rees, Consumer; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Matthew Starr, Consumer. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. This booklet is funded through the generosity of the people of Australia.
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