What Are the Side Effects of Prostate Removal?

Major effects of prostate removal include urinary incontinence and impotence, according to the American Cancer Society. These effects may last from several months to years, depending on the patients health.

There are three major types of incontinence: stress, overflow and urge. Stress incontinence is most common. Patients may leak urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising, says ACS. This occurs due to problems with the muscular valve that keeps urine in the bladder. Overflow incontinence is diagnosed by patients having trouble emptying their bladders. The cause is usually a blockage or narrowing of the bladder outlet by scar tissue. Urge incontinence is diagnosed with a sudden need to urinate. It is caused by an overly sensitive bladder.

The prostate is typically removed due to cancer, explains WebMD. While an official cause is not known, it is believed that diet is a major factor. Eating large amounts of fat from red meat or meats cooked at high temperatures produces cancer-causing substances. Prostate cancer is more common in countries where diets consist of meat and dairy products.

Prostate cancer is a slow-building cancer that often shows no symptoms until it is in advanced stages. It is rare in patients under the age of 50, and many experts believe most elderly men have traces of the disease. African-American men are most likely to contract the disease and have the highest death rate, reports WebMD.