Going to the doctor for a prostate exam can cause men quite a bit of anxiety and dread. Unfortunately, this may cause men to put off or completely avoid this potentially life-saving procedure. Reasons for shunning a prostate exam may include feelings of embarrassment; fear of physical discomfort; or the man may simply not realize the vast importance of having the exam.
The benefits of prostate exams drastically outweigh the discomforts. When a tumor in the prostate is caught in the early stages of development, there is a better chance that the mass can be treated or removed before it has the opportunity to progress into cancer. Although having a prostate exam can seem scary, there other much more painful physical, emotional, and mental complications caused by prostate cancer.
1. Suffering from Urinary Incontinence
Men who are treated for prostate cancer through radiation therapy often suffer from the inability to control their urine flow. This problem can also arise from prostate cancer itself if left untreated. The options for treating urinary incontinence include the use of catheters, certain medications, and possibly even surgery. Sometimes urinary incontinence can be corrected, but other times it is a lifelong complication of prostate cancer or treatment.
2. Erectile Dysfunction
Because sex is a very vital part of a man’s life, one of the worst things imaginable is to become impotent. Radiation, surgery, hormone treatments, and medications used to treat prostate cancer can all cause a man become impotent. Whether sexual function can ever be restored will depend on the severity of the cancer, the type of surgery needed, and even the proficiency of the surgeon.
3. Greater Risk for Bone Cancer
Unfortunately, one of the most common complications of prostate cancer is the increased susceptibility for bone cancer. In fact, prostate cancer can spread to other organs throughout the body. Once it begins to spread, there is still treatment available to control the cancer; however, the cancer can rarely be cured.
Along with these difficulties concerning prostate cancer and treatment, patients may also experience pain, depression, and infertility. A simple prostate exam can alert your doctor if a problem exists, hopefully meaning that prostate cancer and treatment can be avoided altogether. In light of all of these complications and hurdles, having a prostate exam does not seem as bad as many men think. Call your doctor for an appointment today and gain peace of mind.
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