Sex After Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a very curable disease in nearly all early diagnosed cases. Most cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in stages I and II when the disease is still localized to the prostate and there is no evidence of it having spread. In many cases, treatment can be fast, painless, and incredibly effective. Of course, there are often side effects that come along with cancer treatment and prostate cancer treatment is no exception.
Men are often - and not surprisingly - concerned about potential sexual side effects that can surface as a result of prostate cancer and treatment for the disease. That is a natural concern and something that must be addressed by each individual with their doctor. Clearly, everyone’s cancer treatment experience is different but here are some things to keep in mind. Prostate cancer and treatment can, in some cases, cause:
Erectile dysfunction - The inability to get or maintain an erection. Luckily there are medications that can help resolve this very common issue.
Lack of sexual desire - Very often prostate cancer and the subsequent treatment can decrease sex drive. This happens for a variety of reasons. For one, the anxiety and fear of undergoing treatment for cancer, as well as the physical changes that may happen during treatment, may not surprisingly affect a man’s self-esteem. Sex is certainly a low priority when you are feeling so many emotions. Secondly, the treatment itself - especially hormone therapy - can really put a damper on sex drive.
Low fertility - Treatment for prostate cancer can impact fertility in a variety of ways. Whether it’s surgery, brachytherapy (prostate seed implantation), or other types of treatment, when the prostate gland and seminal vesicles are impacted, quantity and quality of sperm is also impacted and infertility can happen as a result. Many men consider banking their sperm prior to undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.
Sexual side effects are often a part of prostate cancer and its treatment. Talk to your doctor about any side effects that you are experiencing. There are many methods to minimize these condition; together you and your doctor can come up with a plan that works best for you.
Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.
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