The Road to Recovery: Prostate Cancer Treatment Aftercare

Prostate cancer affects over 268,000 individuals every year in the United States alone. However, out of all the different types of cancer, prostate cancer has some of the best recovery rates. It’s slow-moving and relatively easy to detect, and it may only require a prostatectomy before it spreads. The next step after detecting cancer would be to remove it through surgery. Afterward, you’ll be on the way to making a recovery. Together, let’s walk through the do’s and don’ts of recovery from prostate cancer. 

Understanding Recovery From Prostate Cancer

Most cases are cured with early treatment, often including a prostatectomy or removal of the prostate. However, a prostatectomy can cause complications in the entire region, including the bladder, the penis, and the digestive system. That’s not even to mention the stitches healing or other related issues that may arise with the procedure. 

Although recovery from prostate cancer can be challenging, you should expect to return to your normal routine within four to six weeks. After the first week, walking on your own should become easier, and you may even get your stitches removed. After a month, you may even be able to exercise if cleared by your physician. While every recovery is different, you can still do a lot to speed up the process. Let’s discuss how to take care of yourself after your procedure.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Aftercare

After a prostatectomy, you must take proactive and reactive steps to address your condition. This means preventative measures to avoid worsening conditions or symptoms and respond to issues as they arise. Here’s what you can do in the first weeks of recovery to make the process easier on yourself.

Do Not Strain Yourself

You will likely stay in the hospital for a couple of days after the procedure to ensure you’re taken care of. Once you are discharged from the hospital, you will need to remain in bed for at least a few days, depending on your doctor’s instructions. Upon release, there should be absolutely no heavy lifting or fast movements. Overexerting yourself or rushing into exercising could result in a slower recovery processor, even stitches coming undone, which you don’t want!

Since the operation occurs in a central location in your body, it can restrict your ability to move during recovery. Take your time if you need to stand up, and try to remain in bed for as long as possible until told otherwise by your doctor.

Remember to Eat

Eating healthy foods is vital for your body’s immune system, energy levels, and overall recovery. You may lose some of your appetite after surgery, especially if you experience discomfort. Still, it’s essential to eat throughout the day. Malnutrition and not eating enough could harm your recovery process.

Also, hydration is key so remember to drink lots of fluids. You will have a catheter for the first week or so of your recovery, so don’t worry about having to get up to urinate frequently.

Manage Pain Responsibly

Your doctor will likely prescribe you ibuprofen or acetaminophen to mitigate the pain and inflammation. Take these as prescribed and contact your doctor if you are still experiencing significant discomfort.

However, if you receive stronger pain relief medicine like oxycodone or hydrocodone, consume them responsibly and as instructed by your physician. Follow post-op pain control guidelines and recommendations from your doctor accordingly. Most importantly, do not drive while using these medications.

Remove Your Catheter

After seven to 10 days, you should be cleared to remove your catheter. You can do this at your doctor’s office if you are recovering according to schedule or at home when you’re ready.

Wait One Month

After a month, you should start feeling better and functioning even at pre-op status. This is the perfect opportunity for a follow-up visit with your surgeon or urologist. Talk to your doctor after the first four weeks to discuss your specific condition. These may include urinary issues, erectile dysfunction, or other health problems. Either way, let them know what challenges you face after the first month and go from there. Everybody recovers differently, and at their own pace, so it’s always best to speak to a medical professional about your particular process.

Long-Term Aftercare

Recovering from cancer is not a one-and-done deal, and you must schedule regular appointments and may even need to make some lifestyle changes. Here’s what you need to know about long-term recovery care.

Practice Healthy Habits

Diet and exercise are unparalleled treatments to available medication these days. That is no exaggeration. Diet and exercise play a major role in post-operative recovery.

Making better lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of redeveloping cancer, ease long-term complications from your procedure (erectile dysfunction, bladder issues, etc.), and more. Once you’ve fully recovered and your doctor says it’s safe to exercise, start practicing these healthy habits regularly to practice cancer prevention.

Don’t Forget Routine Checkups

Once you’ve had substantial cancer growth, your risk of developing cancer again is much higher. It’s imperative that you continue your routine checkups with your doctor. This includes blood tests, cancer screening, and more.

Get Back to Your Life

Recovering from any cancer or surgery is a tough journey; however, it can be accomplished, and remember you are not alone. It is crucial to consult with the right medical professionals, get the necessary treatment, and take care of yourself. At USoC, we can provide the treatment you need from our experienced and kind staff! From there, we can help you get back on the path to the lifestyle you want to live.

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