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Physical Therapy and Men's Health

How can physical therapy help after cancer treatment?

November is MEN’S HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, or what we call “Movember” – where we grow out our facial hair to recognize and raise awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's mental health issues. 

1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer, with approximately 268,490 new cases annually.

Treatment options vary from person to person, and regardless of which treatment journey you take, there are a few things physical therapy can do for you.

Physical therapists are musculoskeletal movement experts trained and educated to understand all of your health conditions, including a cancer diagnosis and the physical and physiological changes that come along with it.

Pelvic floor physical therapy helps identify and treat pelvic disorders such as urinary incontinence and constipation.

The most common symptoms post-prostatectomy include:

  • urinary incontinence
  • urinary retention
  • constipation 
  • erectile dysfunction
  • hormonal changes
  • fatigue
  • generalized muscle weakness

So what can you do about it?

Getting evaluated by a specialized pelvic floor physical therapist is a great start!

Once you know what your baseline is, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you regain sphincter control, proper muscle activation, effective diaphragmatic breathing and trunk stability that may have been affected as a result of surgery or treatment.

Pelvic floor therapy protocol can often include a specialized treatment plan incorporating coordination exercises between the muscles of the abdominal wall and the pelvic floor, glute activation, intra-abdominal pressure distribution, and appropriate muscle activation and movement patterns. 

Physical therapy helps you return to exercising consistently without pain or symptoms, and helps you get back to doing the things you love most!

Blog courtesy of:

Jessie Hernandez

Launch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance Center


American Cancer Society

Di Blasio A, Izzicupo P, Tacconi L, et al. Acute and delayed effects of high intensity interval resistance training organization on cortisol and testosterone production. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2016 Mar;56(3):192-199.

Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7. PMID: 2796409.

Dorey, G., 2003. Pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for erectile dysfunction and postmicturition dribble: three case studies. Journal of WOCN, 30(1), pp.44-52.