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Prostate cancer and urinary incontinence

Each year, more than 70,000 men with prostate cancer undergo a radical prostatectomy in the U.S.1 Nearly 1 in 10 of them still have daily bladder leakage more than a year after surgery.2

Side effects of treatment

Prostate cancer is not the cause of SUI, but the treatment of prostate cancer may lead to bladder leakage. A radical prostatectomy and radiation (external beam or brachytherapy), which are common prostate cancer treatments, may damage the urinary sphincter and cause stress urinary incontinence.3 As a result, your symptoms may range from light leakage to a complete inability to control the flow of urine.

Living with leakage

Bladder leakage may cause you to agonize over a possible accident or worry about smelling bad. Instead of giving up the activities you love, explore your options. Pads or absorbent underwear can help you manage your incontinence. A urine collection bag or penile clamp can help prevent accidental leakage. The male sling and artificial urinary sphincter are intended as permanent treatment options.

Finding the right solution

The truth is you may not like to wear any type of leakage protection. Pads may make you feel self-conscious. Incontinence can be emotionally and physically challenging. Even if your bladder leakage isn’t severe, you may still find it aggravating. If that is the case, it’s time to talk to a stress urinary incontinence specialist about medical procedures that can help resolve your bladder leakage.

Persistent stress urinary incontinence after prostate cancer surgery can affect up to 16% of men.2

Finding more support

Many patients find support from these organizations during recovery from prostate cancer. There may be a chapter in your area. 

Eliminating the African-American disparity in cancer treatment.

Together, we can END prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer treatment and ED

Erectile dysfunction (ED) plagues many men following prostate cancer treatment. Some men begin to see a return to normal erections within the first six months following prostate cancer treatment.4 Other men find that their erections do not return. One year after prostate cancer treatment, approximately 30% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction.5 Should ED persist, there are treatment options for every man. 


  1. Data on file with Boston Scientific. Based on estimated procedural volume.
  2. Ficarra V, Novara G, Rosen RC, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting urinary continence recovery after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):405-17.
  3. Prostate Cancer: Urinary Incontinence. WebMD Website. Accessed September 13, 2016.
  4. McCullough AR. Sexual dysfunction after radical prostatectomy. Rev Urol. 2005;7(Suppl 2):S3-10. 
  5. Ficarra V, Novara G, Ahlering TE, et al. Potency rates after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):418-30.