Coronavirus (COVID-19) Visitor Policy & Advisory: Adventist HealthCare is taking appropriate steps to protect the safety of our patients, caregivers and community. Learn More
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Healthy Living > Health Library > Urinary Problems and Prostate Cancer
Both prostate cancer and its treatment may cause urinary problems.
The urethra—the tube that carries urine from your bladder and through your penis—passes through the middle of the prostate gland. When the prostate presses against the urethra, you can have trouble passing urine. This could include trouble getting started (urinary hesitancy), incomplete emptying, or a weak urine stream. Sometimes, a urinary problem is caused by a prostate cancer tumor that is pressing on the urethra. Most often, it is because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is not cancer but does make the prostate grow larger.
If you have urinary symptoms, see your doctor to find out the cause. It may be cancer, or it may not. If it is cancer, removing the cancer usually relieves the pressure on the urethra. If prostate removal is not possible, surgery to relieve the pressure on the urethra (TURP) may be done.
Because the prostate surrounds the urethra and is right next to the bladder, surgery to remove the prostate and its cancer may damage nerves or the bladder outlet muscle (sphincter). This weakens support for the lower bladder, and stress incontinence may develop. Radiation therapy can cause increased urinary frequency and urgency. It may also cause narrowing of the urethra, which makes urination difficult.
Some men will have incontinence following surgery for prostate cancer. This usually improves and in some cases resolves completely in 6 to 12 months. If you do not recover your control over urination in the first few months or year after treatment, additional treatment for incontinence may help.
Chronic incontinence is long-term difficulty controlling urine. Treatment is based on the type of incontinence and how much it affects your life. For more information, see the topic Urinary Incontinence in Men.
Home treatment for urinary incontinence includes the following:
Current as of:
August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineChristopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.