Prostate cancer is a common malignant disease and it affects men all around the world. There are several treatment modalities and some of them can significantly interfere with man's sexual performance. Still, even the primary illness can have certain effects on sexual performance. Loss of sexual desire or problems with erection can be very frustrating and men commonly consult their doctors in order to find the most optimal solution to the problem.
Surgery for Prostate Cancer and Duration of Erectile Dysfunction
If patients are operated, particularly if they undergo a radical prostatectomy, their sexual life may change forever. It is essential to emphasize that after every surgical procedure (especially after radical interventions) the body needs time to fully recover and regain some functions. Therefore, even after a prostate cancer surgery a man may need some time to regain erection. Many men will notice improvement in their erection over time. This is more common in men who have not had any difficulties with erection prior to the surgery. Within the first three months after a radical prostatectomy men may have serious trouble achieving a spontaneous erection but they can benefit from erectile dysfunction medications that can only be prescribed by their doctor.
Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer and Sexual Performance
Unlike radical prostatectomy, after which a patients immediately has problems with erection, in case of radiation therapy for prostate cancer the problem may develop over time. Namely, erectile dysfunction generally does not develop immediately after radiation therapy. The main cause of eventual and potential erectile dysfunction after radiation therapy is associated with the damage to the blood vessels that supply the nerves responsible for erection. Damage to particular nerves does not have to happen, hence not all men suffer from erectile dysfunction after radiation therapy.
Treatment for Sexual Dysfunction after Prostate Cancer Treatment
There are several medications that are prescribed to men suffering from erectile dysfunction. They may also be administered to men whose erectile dysfunction developed as a consequence of a prostate cancer therapy. Only after a consultation with his doctor a patient may be prescribed such medications. He is fully informed about how to take them and should report any side effects in case they occur.
Apart from medications, patients who have finished with treatment of prostate cancer may benefit from penile medication injections, a vacuum constriction or vacuum erection device and, finally, if none of the previously mentioned provide them with desirable results, they may undergo a penile implant (a prosthetic device that is surgically implanted inside the penis).