Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatment focuses on positive outcomes, such as removing the cancer, reducing tumor size, preventing recurrence and achieving cure. However, many of these treatments take a big toll on our bodies. Prior knowledge of what to expect can help you make treatment decisions and get the support you need to deal with the side effects of treatment for prostate cancer.

Side effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer

  • Short term: Impotence and hot flashes
  • Intermediate: Metabolic syndrome (increased cholesterol and triglycerides, higher body fat and depression)
  • Long term: Accelerated osteoporosis, increased risk of diabetes and cardiac toxicity

Side effects of chemotherapy for prostate cancer

  • Low blood counts: 70 percent of patients have lower blood counts, increasing the risk for infection or anemia. These are routinely managed.
  • Nausea and vomiting: This side effect is very rare in prostate cancer treatment. If it does appear, our prostate cancer specialists have considerable experience managing this side effect so cancer therapy can continue, and you can live your normal life.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a set of symptoms that can occur following damage to the nerves that control the sensation in your arms and legs.
  • Sleep disorders: Sleep may be disturbed by the cancer, pain or certain drugs or treatments.

Depending on the type of chemotherapy, other side effects may apply. Your doctor should have information sheets available on the most common side effects for your specific drug.


Cardio-oncology is a new medical discipline focused on optimally treating any associated heart conditions in patients who have been treated for cancer, or are currently being treated for cancer. Specialized cardiologists can assess patients for the potential risk of developing certain heart conditions, especially if they are receiving particular types of cancer drugs, or following radiation treatment to the chest.