On the Side: An Overview of Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects

CURE, Genitourinary Cancers Special Issue, Volume 1, Issue 1

With a variety of treatment options for prostate cancer also comes a variety of side effects. Here is a list of potential side effects to discuss with your doctor when deciding on a treatment plan.

There are an array of treatment types for men with prostate cancer, and with them can come a multitude of side effects. Here’s the lowdown on some of the most common potential side effects that can accompany prostate cancer treatments. Ask your doctor if there are strategies that can help you avoid or lessen these symptoms.


• Temporary or permanent impotence (the inability to get an erection)

• Urinary incontinence (the inability to control the flow of urine)

Radiation Therapy:

• Fatigue (temporary)

• Diarrhea or other bowel problems or pain (temporary)

• An increased need to urinate (temporary)

• Impotence (permanent)

Hormonal Therapy:

• Reduced libido

• Hot flashes

• Bone fractures

• Erectile dysfunction

• Loss of muscle mass

• Fatigue

• Weight gain


• Hair loss

• Nausea and/or vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Fatigue

• Muscle pain

Xofigo (radium-223):

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Swelling in the legs and hands (peripheral edema)

• Low blood counts



• Chills

• Fever

• Fatigue

• Nausea

• Back pain

• Headache

• Joint ache

Checkpoint Inhibitors:

• Rash

• Diarrhea

•Endocrine disruptions

• Lung inflammation