Coping with Urinary Incontinence in Childhood Cancer
Symptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.
Some cancers and cancer treatments may result in incontinence (the inability to control urination), which could be really embarrassing for your child, especially if it happens at school or in front of their friends.
Urine forms in the kidneys then flows into the bladder (a hollow, balloon-like organ) from where it then flows down a tube called the urethra and out of the body. Sphincter muscles (which act like a valve that holds urine in or releases it) work in tandem with nerves that carry signals between them and the bladder to control urination.
Some types of cancer and some cancer treatments can damage or change these nerves and muscles; they may also cause other changes to the body that lead to incontinence.
If your child is having bladder-control problems, their healthcare team will work with you and your child to find out why.
Incontinence is often treatable. How it is treated depends on what caused it, the type, how long it has occurred, and severity. A combination of treatments is often used.
Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Urinary Incontinence on our static page, Urinary Incontinence in Childhood Cancer