Chemotherapy / Radiotherapy Incontinence

Suffering with incontinence after having chemotherapy or radiotherapy and not being told that this can be treated

Urinary incontinence is a common side effect of certain cancers. Gynaecological, pelvic and abdominal cancers often require aggressive chemotherapy and targeted radiotherapy around the pelvis. These treatments can irritate and damage the bladder lining and weaken the pelvic floor. Hormone levels are disrupted too, which further increases irritation and can lead to urgency and incontinence.

Many sufferers are told that there is little that can be done about this, as the cancer treatment has irreparably damaged the bladder and pelvic floor. Often they’re left feeling embarrassed and fearful of returning to exercise and daily activities due to concerns about leaking or making the problem more serious.

And worse, this comes at a time when exercise has been proven to be an effective and essential part of their recovery. A phased return to exercise has been shown to improve cancer outcomes, long-term prognosis and quality of life

Fortunately for anyone experiencing incontinence after cancer treatment, exercise can still be done safely and effectively – as long as it’s correctly prescribed and performed. However, it’s essential that pelvic floor and bladder issues are addressed as soon as possible to prevent them being a barrier to recovery.

Constipation is common post cancer treatment and can exacerbate bladder incontinence. In order to improve bladder function, one must first address any bowel symptoms.

Pelvic health Physiotherapy can help to retrain the bladder and reduce irritation over time, as well as strengthening the pelvic floor and pelvic muscles to provide bladder support and restore continence. Techniques to reduce constipation and promote healthy bowel function reduce undue stress on the pelvic floor and bladder and prevent pelvic floor issues developing in the future.

Our bodies are brilliant at compensating for tissue damage, so trauma caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy should be treatable with targeted physiotherapy.

At Ten Health and Fitness, we offer what we call our Circle of Care – integrated teams of specialist therapists and exercise professionals working collaboratively under the same roof.

So for anyone undergoing cancer treatment, our Clinical Exercise Physiologists can provide additional support on returning to exercise and full function is available from our Clinical Exercise Trainers. This team of dedicated clinical exercise Physiologists are specialists in understanding the needs of someone recovering from cancer and creating bespoke exercise programmes to help you recover further and faster than you may have thought possible.

And as you grow in strength, confidence and capability, our Pilates Instructors and Massage Therapists can provide further ongoing support to create a tailored and effective recovery strategy that is designed specifically for you and your needs.

If you’d like to speak to one of our cancer specialists, please complete the following enquiry form and we’ll contact you to arrange a convenient time.

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