Problems of the urinary tract, especially the bladder and kidneys, can v; result from the physiological and metabolic effects of tumor growth, from n side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and from infection, to ,-, which persons with cancer are particularly susceptible.
To protect the mucous membranes of the genitourinary tract, the patient should use a water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly prior to sexual intercourse to avoid excessive friction, and should avoid the use of douches and vaginal suppositories. Patients should be alert to the signs of urinary tract infections and report them to the doctor.
- Frequency or urgency of urination.
- Running on urination.
- Urine that is cloudy, dark, reddish or brownish in color, or contains blood.
- Fever, chills, or weakness.
- Low back or Rank pain.
- It is important to have the doctor determine the nature of the problem, since treatment will differ depending on the type of infection.
- If the diagnosis is cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder, the patient should:
- Increase fluid intake to a minimum of three quarts a day, distributed evenly over the twenty-four hours.
- Avoid foods and beverages that may be irritating to the lining of the bladder, such as coffee and tea, alcoholic beverages, foods containing spices such as pepper or curry, and avoid tobacco products.
- Acidify the urine to prevent infection by taking ascorbic acid (vitamin C) daily as prescribed by the physician. Cranberry juice, a popular folk remedy, is only effective in acidifying the urine if it is taken in quantities of three quarts a day.
- Void frequently as soon as there is an urge, but try at least every two hours.
- If there is excessive uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia), the person should:
- Increase fluid intake to at least three quarts a day to help the kidney clear the uric acid from the blood.
- Avoid consuming legumes (lentils, dried peas, or beans), organ meats, sardines, anchovies, tea, and wine, which are high in purines and thereby increase uric acid production.