As PSA Testing Is Debated, The CareGiver Partnership Says Men Can Manage Incontinence and Regain Bladder Strength After Prostate Surgery

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The CareGiver Partnership, a national direct-to-consumer of home healthcare products, says men can successfully manage the side effects of surgery for prostate cancer, as a controversy brews over prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, testing.

Post-surgery treatment may include Kegel exercises and bladder retraining.

Side effects vary depending on the individual and type and extent of treatment.

A government task force has drafted a controversial recommendation against routine PSA screening, according to the Associated Press, causing concern in some doctors and organizations such as the American Cancer Society. The CareGiver Partnership says if surgery for prostate cancer is necessary, there is hope for managing the side effects and many men recover within weeks or months.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has drafted a recommendation that PSA blood tests should no longer be part of routine screening for healthy men because it found little evidence of a reduction in deaths, according to an Oct. 8 Associated Press article. The task force says too much PSA doesn’t always mean cancer is present — it also can indicate a benign enlarged prostate or infection — and 30 percent of men treated for PSA-discovered prostate cancer suffer significant side effects from the treatment. Its research shows 200 to 300 of every 1,000 men treated with surgery or radiation suffer incontinence or impotence.

“The side effects, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, vary depending on the individual and type and extent of treatment,” says Tom Wilson, co-founder of The CareGiver Partnership. “We want men to know there are a number of male incontinence products for use following prostate surgery, and there is hope for recovery from these side effects.”

Stress incontinence, characterized by urine leakage during activity that strains the bladder, such as coughing, laughing or exercising, is the most common type of incontinence following a radical prostatectomy, says Wilson. Many men regain bladder control within several weeks or months, but there is a risk of stress incontinence lasting up to three years following surgery.

“Ways to cope include choosing male incontinence products following surgery, keeping skin clean and healthy, and controlling fluid intake,” says Wilson. “Your doctor may also recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles in combination with bladder retraining, which can help decrease urine leakage, urgency and frequency.”

Visit The CareGiver Partnership website for more information on male incontinence products after prostate surgery.

The CareGiver Partnership is a national direct-to-consumer retailer of home healthcare products for incontinence, diabetes, nutrition support and more. In its fifth year of providing products and services that help caregivers and loved ones maintain personal dignity, the company also offers an online library of more than 1,000 family caregiver resources and personal service by experts in caregiving. Call 1-800-985-1353 or visit online at http://www.caregiverpartnership.com.

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Tom Wilson