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Prostate Cancer

Living With Prostate Cancer

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 16:10

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Getting back to normal after treatment for prostate cancer may take time.

If the prostate was removed, semen can no longer be ejaculated. Whether or not a man can achieve an erection will depend on the degree to which nerves have been affected by the surgery. Many men can return to a degree of sexual function, especially with newer surgical techniques that can save nerves that control an erection.

If impotence (erectile dysfunction) is a side effect, medication may help. While there are many drugs in use, Viagra has become the most well-known. Only a physician should prescribe a drug for erectile dysfunction, however. Some of these drugs can cause low blood pressure, and heart-related side effects have been reported.

Men whose prostate was removed will no longer produce semen, but they can still have a dry orgasm, which is a sexual climax without the release of semen from the penis. Men who wish to father children may wish to consider having their sperm frozen for use in the future.

What Is The Long-Term Outlook?

For men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, the five-year survival rate is close to 100 percent. The long-term outlook depends on:

  • Age
  • Stage of cancer
  • Treatment

Most oncologists and urologists will say that treatment is essential for younger men. Yet, many of the therapies, such as radiation and chemotherapy, are not easy to endure. The long-term outlook and your expectations should be the subject of open and frank discussions with your care providers. Quality of life issues, especially for older men and those whose cancer has spread, become very important as part of the long-term outlook.

Prostate Cancer