PSA Rising: Radiation treatment for prostate cancer can affect sex life
Boston, MA /PSA Rising, NYC/ October 23, 2000 — A man diagnosed with prostate cancer who is offered radiation therapy as a treatment option needs to know how it will affect his sex life compared with surgery or other choices.
Patients who can get an erection and stay firm for intercourse before treatment are more likely to be able to do so again after treatment if they have radiation therapy compared to radical prostatectomy, a new analysis shows.
A review of 86 articles assessing erectile function before and after treatment found that one year after treatment 68 percent of men treated with external beam radiation therapy were still able to get an erection and stay firm. Only 58 percent of men treated with nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy were able to do so, says John Robinson, Ph.D., of the University of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Canada. After standard radical prostatectomy, only 30 percent of men were still able to have an erection, Robinson says.
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