Overactive bladder syndrome and lower urinary tract symptoms after prostate cancer treatment

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose of review

To assess the contemporary literature on the prevalence, cause and management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and bladder overactivity following treatment of prostate cancer with radical surgery, radiotherapy and minimally invasive therapies for localized prostate cancer, including cryotherapy and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

Recent findings

Generally, the highest risk of urinary incontinence is after open radical prostatectomy (7–40%), although not all contemporary studies demonstrate a difference between open and laparoscopic techniques. An increased incidence of bladder overactivity is seen with radiotherapy (as compared to radical prostatectomy). Bladder outlet obstruction is most commonly encountered after radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy combination therapy (up to 26%). It manifests as voiding LUTS or urinary retention, and the risk can accumulate over time. Cryotherapy and HIFU provide effective cancer treatment with lower risks of urinary incontinence, but have fewer published studies and shorter follow-up. Medical treatment options for LUTS include alpha blockers, anticholinergics, and potentially intravesical glycosaminoglycan analogue instillations. Stress urinary incontinence requires surgical correction with artificial urinary sphincter or suburethral slings.


Patients who have undertaken successful prostate cancer treatment have a good prognosis, and commonly present for further interventions to optimise quality of life if bothersome urinary symptoms are experienced. It is important to be vigilant for and treat any adverse urinary consequences.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles