Men can benefit from pelvic exercises to prevent urinary leaks after prostate cancer treatment, study finds

October 23, 2015
Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia

Men with urinary leaks from surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer can benefit from "Kegel" exercises known for treating incontinence in women after giving birth, according to a Case Western Reserve University study.

About 30 percent of patients nationally are affected by incontinence a year after surgery, and another 14 percent still feel the effects after five years, said Amy Y. Zhang, PhD, associate professor from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve.

The researchers from the university's School of Nursing, with University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, wanted to know whether exercises could help men who experience following .

"Urinary incontinence has been shown to cause significant distress in men following prostate cancer treatments," Zhang said. "They're afraid to travel or attend other social gatherings because there may not be a restroom nearby."

The findings, published in a Journal of Urology article Zhang wrote, detailed results from 244 men randomly assigned to one of three approaches to reduce leakage and manage symptoms.

The first two approaches offered the men one session of biofeedback-assisted pelvic exercises and six biweekly sessions—either in a peer support group or by phone—to learn how to self-manage their symptoms.

In the third approach, men received information and a doctor's directions for care or sought information on their own.

Researchers tracked leakage and symptom distress at the beginning of the study and again at three and six months.

By the third month, the first two methods—biofeedback, plus support group or telephone contact—showed better results. The number of leakage episodes decreased.

At the last assessment at six months, the receiving biofeedback and support recorded the greatest reduction in leakage amount.

While more study is needed, Zhang speculates that the improvements were most influenced by the peer group .

Explore further: Relief of urinary symptoms is an underappreciated benefit of early stage prostate cancer treatment

More information: Amy Y. Zhang et al. Effects of Patient Centered Interventions on Persistent Urinary Incontinence after Prostate Cancer Treatment: A Randomized, Controlled Trial, The Journal of Urology (2015). DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.07.090

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

March 24, 2017

Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

'Jumonji' protein key to Ewing's sarcoma rampage

March 24, 2017

By the time Ewing's Sarcoma is diagnosed, primarily in teens and young adults, it has often spread from its primary site to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study ...

In a sample of blood, researchers probe for cancer clues

March 24, 2017

One day, patients may be able to monitor their body's response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by bioengineers at UC Berkeley, has taken an important step in that direction by measuring ...

Researchers gain insight into breast cancer drug resistance

March 24, 2017

Breast cancer's ability to develop resistance to treatment has frustrated researchers and physicians and has thwarted even the latest and greatest targeted therapies. For example, after researchers identified a disease pathway ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.