Can Colon Cancer Cause Urinary Problems?

Colon cancer and its treatments can be potential to cause some discomfort problems. For instance, it can affect organs close to the affected part of colon, including some organs in the pelvic region. Does it mean that this cancer can cause urinary problems, too? The answer may vary from patient to patient!

Urinary problems – topic overview

image_illustration361Most people will experience some urinary problems in their lifetime. These can vary, ranging from minor to more serious.

The bad news, it’s not always easy to distinguish which one that will become serious since both minor and serious urinary problems can start to develop with the same symptoms. The good news, most problems are mild, even home remedies are usually enough to cope with!

The problems can be attributed by lots of different factors. For example, there are many things that can affect the color of your urine such as disease, medicines, diet, and fluid balance.

The color of urine can tell how much water is in it! Darker color is dehydration symptom. If your drink plenty of water, your urine should be light, almost like water.

What you eat and medicines can affect your urine. Blackberries, some medicines, blood in the urine, or beets usually will make it turn into red-brown. Vitamin B supplements can make it to become bright-yellow.

It is not only about color, the odor can be affected, too. Taking certain antibiotics, vitamins, and some foods (like asparagus) can cause different odor.

And there are some different types of urinary problems. Some of these include urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, bladder retention, injuries, and so on.

Colon cancer and the risk of urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a condition of when something goes awry in the urinary tract, causing inability to control urine. The urinary system consists of two kidneys, two ureters, bladder, and urethra. Any problem that affects the urine flow in one or some of these organs, you can have incontinence.

This incontinence has several different types, ranging from mild to severe!

  1. Continuous incontinence, with it you are completely unable (the loss of all ability) to control your urination.
  2. Urge incontinence; an urgent, sudden need to urinate.
  3. Overflow incontinence, you can take a long time to pass urine, typically followed with a dribbling stream of urine.
  4. Stress incontinence, a condition that often causes leak urine during certain activities such as laughing, sneezing, exercising, or coughing.

Colon cancer may lead to urinary incontinence. This kind of incontinence can affect both men and women with this cancer. It may be temporary or long-term.

Over time, the cancer in the colon grows and can be large enough to cause more pressure to organs close to the affected part of colon – such as other organs of digestive system and organs in the urinary system.

Colon cancer and its treatments have potential risk to affect organs of urinary system such as kidneys, bladder, and prostate. And this can increase the risk of developing urinary incontinence.

Radiation and chemotherapy are often used to help treat colon cancer. While they can be powerful enough to treat and kill cancer cells, they also carry some side effects (one of them is the risk of urinary incontinence).

For instances, some chemotherapy may lead to vomiting that strains some muscles in the pelvic area (including some muscles that have function to control urination), nerve damage, and loss of hormone. Radiation for colon cancer may also accidentally affect pelvic area, causing bladder irritation.

If necessary, surgery may be recommended to treat colon cancer. If the cancer affects the lower part of colon, surgery can be done around the pelvic region, and this may cause damage to nerves or/and muscles that help control urination!

There are also other cancers that increase the risk of urinary incontinence! These include:

  1. Cancer in the pelvic region, such as cancers of bladder and in the reproductive organs.
  2. Other cancers near /around the pelvic region. These include cancers of rectum (another bowel cancer), kidneys, and urethra.
  3. Cancers of spinal cord or brain since they can have an effect on some nerves that control muscles in the pelvic region.
  4. Esophageal or lung cancers. They can lead to chronic coughing, and this will put more pressure and stress to the bladder.
  5. Cancer of breast, because it can dry out the urethra by changing some hormones.

The cause of the problem is the key for the prognosis. But in general, it will improve once the underlying condition is addressed.

For instances, if it is linked to the inflammation or the large size of cancerous tumor in the colon, it will improve when the tumor has been removed. If it is associated with certain cancer treatments, it should go away after treatment.

Some lifestyle measures can help, too. These include:

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