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    Incontinence after RP or RT: Consider preventive measures first

    Gwendolyn Hooper, PhD, APRNGwendolyn Hooper, PhD, APRNNew study data on the side effects of three treatment modalities for localized prostate cancer have important implications for nurses and other providers managing post-treatment urinary incontinence, according to Gwendolyn Hooper, PhD, APRN, president of the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates. In this interview with Urology Times Content Channel Director Richard R. Kerr, Dr. Hooper discusses practical tips for prevention and management of incontinence in this patient population.


    A recent study by Barocas et al, presented at the 2017 AUA annual meeting and reported in Urology Times, examined the side effects of various treatments for localized prostate cancer. For the purposes of this interview, let’s discuss post-treatment urinary incontinence specifically and the role of the nurse or other nonphysician provider. What do you think are the key take-aways from this study in this regard?

    First, a short overview of the study. This was a prospective population-based cohort study of 2,550 men undertaken to compare functional outcomes and adverse effects associated with three prostate cancer treatments: radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy, and active surveillance. Men were ages 60-80 years, had been diagnosed with clinical stage cT1 T2 (localized) prostate cancer, and their PSA levels were <50 ng/mL.

    Also by Dr. Hooper: Men’s health issues often extend beyond the physical

    Patients were within 6 months of diagnosis and had received treatment within 1 year. The study took place over 36 months, which may be a limitation of the study. 

    Regarding the study’s findings on incontinence only, with baseline domain scores being similar across all three groups, postoperative radical prostatectomy (RP) patients reported significantly greater urinary incontinence than did those patients treated with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) or active surveillance.

    To answer your question, nurses and other providers should utilize the results of this and other similar studies to counsel and inform their patients during the shared decision-making process. Keep in mind that men often base their treatment decisions on the potential side effects of the proposed treatment.

    Next: How common is incontinence in men who undergo RP and those who undergo RT?


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