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Living with Prostate Cancer

Side Effects: When to Seek Help

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Some form of erectile, urinary, and bowel dysfunction is normal following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. But it’s important to realize that not all symptoms are normal, and that some require immediate care.

What to look for Why it is dangerous
Erection lasting for more than four hours or an increasingly cold, bluish penis following vacuum constriction Lack of fresh circulating oxygenated blood can cause damage to the penile tissue
Inability to urinate or incomplete emptying of the bladder A backup of urine can cause infections and bladder or kidney damage
Constipation lasting for more than four days A backup of stool can cause infections and damage to the bowel
Excessive and/or uncontrolled diarrhea Too much water loss that accompanies diarrhea can lead to dehydration, lightheadedness, fainting, and collapse
Excessive and/or continuous rectal or bladder bleeding Too much blood loss can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, and collapse or other serious problems; blood clots in the bladder can block the passage of urine


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