All treatments for advanced prostate cancer have known side effects. Treatments often used to treat advanced prostate cancer are radiotherapy, hormone therapy (also known as androgen deprivation therapy – ADT), and chemotherapy. Sometimes men with locally advanced prostate cancer may be offered surgery. 

The table on the next page is a summary of the known possible side effects for each of the treatment. 

TreatmentPossible Side Effects
Surgery
  • Incontinence
  • Erectile difficulties
  • Change in penis size
  • Changes during orgasm
  • Infertility
Radiotherapy
  • Urinary and bowel problems
    (including incontinence)
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Skin irritation and changes
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
Hormone therapy
(Androgen deprivation therapy)
  • Loss of sex drive and erectile difficulties
  • Hot flushes
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength
  • Swelling and tenderness in the breast area
  • Thinning of the bones
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Changes to your mood
  • Problems with concentration and memory
Chemotherapy
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low white blood cells
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Bruising
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore mouth and throat
  • Nerve changes
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Swelling
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Infertility

The next sections will tell you more about the treatments, side effects and ways of managing them.