Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- Will I need other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- What can I do about side effects that I might have?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
Will Treatment Cause Erectile Dysfunction
When youre sexually excited, nerves cause tissues in your penis to relax, allowing blood to flow into the organ. The nerves that control erection are very delicate. Surgery or radiation for prostate cancer may damage them enough to cause ED. When you have ED, you cant get or keep an erection.
Radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the prostate gland. When your surgeon removes the gland, they may damage the nerves and blood vessels that run along it. If theyre damaged enough, you wont be able to get an erection following the procedure.
Today, doctors can do nerve-sparing surgery, which helps prevent permanent ED. Your surgeon can still touch those nerves and blood vessels, causing ED as a temporary side effect. Many men have trouble getting an erection for a few weeks, months, or even years after their procedure.
Radiation therapy also damages blood vessels and the nerves that control erection. Up to half of men who have radiation for prostate cancer experience ED afterward. In some men, this symptom will improve with time. Sometimes radiation side effects dont appear until a few months after the treatment. If ED starts late, it may not be as likely to go away.
A few treatments can help with ED until youre able to have erections on your own again.
Additional treatments include the following:
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Etiology Of Prostate Cancer
The etiology of prostate cancer is idiopathic and the cause is still unknown. Prostate cancer has been attributed to the changes in the genes of normal prostate cell. The anomaly of the genes leads to changes in cell growth and division along with apoptosis. Hereditary prostate cancer has been linked to mutations in RNASEL, MSH2, MLH1, BRCA1, BRCA2 and HOXB13 genes. However, there are more reported cases of prostate cancer due to acquired gene mutations. They have been linked to increased levels of testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 however, these factors are still not fully understood and need further studies. Radiation and some chemicals leading to cancer have been associated with the mutations in prostate cells leading to cancer. However, all these need further validation.
How Will Sex After Prostate Cancer Be Different
One of the treatments of prostate cancer is to remove a portion of the prostate or the totality of the gland before cancer spreads beyond it You may have heard that the tumor is inside the capsule, but moving fast.
The procedure is known as radical prostatectomy and involves incisions, either above the perineum or on the lower abdomen.
Newer surgeries are sometimes robot-assisted, and we also have laparoscopic prostatectomies that do not require a large incision.
The end result is the removal of a portion or the totality of the prostate, and certain surgical approaches may be associated with a lower risk of nerve damage than others. Youll see this referred to as nerve-sparing prostatectomies throughout this guide.
As soon as a man is informed that he will need to go through a Radical Prostatectomy, the likelihood is that one of the very first questions will be about the effect that it will have on their sex life. In a lot of mens minds, the surgery is thought of like its castration.
However, now that there are multiple types of nerve-sparing prostate surgery, many men have found they can maintain sexual activity after surgery.
Likewise, there are plenty of sexual activities open to those who do find they still have the desire, even with some physical changes. We want to help you understand the changes that men can experience after prostate surgery, whether that is physical or mental.
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What We Dont Know
While research is promising, thereâs still a lot scientists need to learn. Some things to consider:
- Thereâs no proof that ejaculating more actually causes lower chances of prostate cancer. For now, doctors just know theyâre connected. It may be that men who do it more tend to have other healthy habits that are lowering their odds.
- Ejaculation doesnât seem to protect against the most deadly or advanced types of prostate cancer. Experts donât know why.
- Scientists donât know if ejaculation during sex vs. masturbation has the same benefits. Some research has found that the makeup of semen is different for each. For example, semen during sex has higher levels of sperm and some chemicals. Itâs possible that these could make a difference in a manâs odds of having prostate cancer.
- Not all studies have found a benefit. The 2016 study got attention because of its size and length . But some smaller studies have not shown the same good results. A few even found that some men, specifically younger men, who masturbated more had slightly higher chances of prostate cancer. Some researchers wonder if a manâs age may affect whether more ejaculation helps.
Sex After Prostate Surgery And Achieving Orgasm
Sex after prostate surgery is an important concern for most men. The total removal of the cancerous tissues is the primary goal, but the quality of life after prostate surgery is also important. Worrying about ED makes men be nervous and anxious when thinking about undergoing radical prostatectomy. Restoring the sexual function after prostate surgery is essential to enjoying life to the fullest!
However, whilst most patients focus on erectile dysfunction, orgasm is somehow under-considered. But is it possible to achieve orgasm after prostatectomy? Erections and orgasm are equally important for a healthy sex life.
First of all, bear in mind that the radical prostatectomy is the surgery performed to remove the prostate gland and sourrounding affected tissue. This is the most recommended treatment for prostate cancer. However, many men wonder if they would be able to have sex after prostate surgery as they did before.
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Can You Have Sex After Prostate Cancer Topic Guide
- Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether cancer is in part or all of the prostate, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, and the age and overall health of the patient. Closely monitoring and watchful waiting are treatment options for small, localized, slow-growing prostate cancer, but not for fast-growing cancer or metastasized cancer .
When Should You Get Tested For Prostate Cancer
A blood test known as Prostate-Specific Antigen was once routinely given to all men over age 50 to check for elevated levels of a substance in the blood that might indicate prostate cancer. That recommendation was withdrawn in the early 2010s, because the test is imprecise and could lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. But in May 2018, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued its latest recommendation : Between the ages of 55 and 69, men should individually decide whether to screen for prostate cancer with a PSA test, after consulting with their doctor. Prostate cancer screening is not recommended after age 70 since there is no evidence it results in an increased lifespan.
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Treatments For Recurrent Prostate Cancer
Recurrent prostate cancer is cancer that comes back after it has been treated. Recurrent prostate cancer is also diagnosed when theprostate-specific antigen level starts to rise quickly after initialtreatment but there are no other signs of cancer. This is called a biochemicalrecurrence or PSA failure.
The following aretreatment options for recurrent prostatecancer. Your healthcare teamwill suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop atreatment plan. The type of treatment that you receive will depend on:
- the treatments youve already had
- where the cancer comes back
- whether the cancer has spread
- your overall healthand whether you have other illnesses
- your age and life expectancy
- your personal preferences
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Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery
For the study, Schiff and colleagues examined the medical records of 138 men who underwent radical prostatectomy and were evaluated for erectile function at follow-up visits to the doctor.
At each visit, the men were asked to rate their level of erectile function on a 5-level scale, where 1 corresponded to normal functioning and 5 to no erections.
Prior to surgery, two-thirds of the men said they had normal erectile functioning . The others put themselves at level 2, meaning diminished erections, routinely sufficient for intercourse.
At subsequent follow-up visits, five of these men had normal functioning and 11 recovered enough to have intercourse, although they had diminished erections.
And 87 men said they had level 4 or level 5 erections, corresponding to partial erections not sufficient for intercourse or no erections, respectively, two years after surgery.
Of these men, one recovered normal erections and nine recovered diminished erections, routinely sufficient for intercourse. Eleven recovered partial erections occasionally satisfactory for intercourse.
After about three years, though, men with the most severe erectile dysfunction showed almost no improvement, Schiff says. But men who had partial erections that were occasionally sufficient for intercourse continued to make progress for up to four years after surgery.
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What Is Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Androgen deprivation therapy is a key treatment strategy for prostate cancer that has recurred following local treatment. The goal of all hormone therapies is to stop the production and/or interfere with the effects of testosterone, which fuels the growth of prostate cancer cells. However, because not all prostate cancer cells are sensitive to increases or decreases in testosterone levels, hormone therapy is a treatment for prostate cancer but does not cure the disease. The decision on starting testosterone lowering or blocking therapies is individualized, based on your PSA, the PSA doubling time, whether the cancer has spread visibly or caused symptoms, and the potential risks involved with this type of therapy.
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What Determines Erection Recovery After Surgery
The most obvious determinant of postoperative erectile dysfunction is preoperative potency status. Some men may experience a decline in erectile function over time, as an age-dependent process. Furthermore, postoperative erectile dysfunction is compounded in some patients by preexisting risk factors that include older age, comorbid disease states , lifestyle factors , and the use of medications such as antihypertensive agents that have antierectile effects.
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Doctors may also make a number of assumptions about patients, including about their family support system, their sexual orientation and their sexual interests.
Your doctor might tell you youll have an erection strong enough for intercourse, but anal penetration requires 33 percent more rigidity, Rosser said. Hes heard men say their doctors neutered them. Others have said theyd rather be dead. In all, 15 percent of all men whove had a radical prostatectomy exhibit some kind of treatment regret. For gay men, so long ignored by medicine, Rosser believes those rates are much higher.
with a postmenopausal wife who doesnt want sex anyway might just accept having a low libido, he explained. But if your partner is another man, and his drive isnt diminished, it can be a real problem.
Rosser said the silence and shame surrounding the topic allows ugly myths to flourish like that gay sex somehow caused their cancer. Guys can feel guilty, Rosser said. Or, their partners may think on some level, they can catch it.
He had some of those thoughts himself: Im a cyclist did being in the saddle too much cause it? Did enjoying receptive anal sex?
Without good data, researchers cant get to the truth, Rosser stressed.
Getting Treatment And Support
Speak to your GP or doctor or nurse at the hospital.
Your GP, hospital doctor or nurse can prescribe treatment for erection problems for free on the NHS, whether it’s for sex or masturbation. There may be a limit on how much treatment they can prescribe, but there is no age limit.
Talking about sex
It can be difficult talking about sex, but talking to your doctor, nurse or other health professional will mean you can get treatment and support. It can also help you feel more positive and more in control.
You can ask about sexual problems at any stage – before, during or after your prostate cancer treatment. Talking about it before your treatment will mean you know what to expect and can help you to prepare to start treatments for sexual problems soon afterwards.
Your team should ask you about your erections and sex life during your treatment for prostate cancer. But if they don’t then you may need to bring it up yourself.
Not everyone is used to talking about sex. You might need to bring it up more than once, or with a different person in your team. You can also ask to be referred to an expert in sexual problems or an ED clinic – they will be used to talking about sexual problems.
Our sexual support service
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What Treatment Options For Sexual Dysfunction Are Safe After Prostate Surgery
All of the treatment options come with risks, even the all-natural ones. You need to be careful about sourcing supplements, being confident in the supply.
Many US-based manufacturers were caught by the FDA selling natural Tongkat Ali which actually contained prescription ED drugs! Likewise, overtraining can lead to injury or soreness. However, theres no doubt that the natural approach is safer than the alternative.
Only purchase Tongkat Ali supplements from a reputable company that provides 3rd party lab tests to prove that it is an unadulterated and safe supplement.
If you are looking for a safe and natural testosterone boosting supplement that contains Tongkat Ali, we recommend our Testo-Booster supplement.
The side effects from the most commonly used ED pharmaceuticals include minor ones, such as headache, flushing, runny nose and pains in the stomach or back.
In some cases, dizziness and a sudden drop in your blood pressure can take place. Thats why men with heart conditions have to be evaluated by a physician before they take it, and may have to rely on a lower dose.
Around 1 out of every fifty men who take those drugs will also experience painful or persistent erections.
The highest risk group, however, is those who undergo surgery to get an implant. Thats why its always the last choice. As the surgeon needs to make an incision into the scrotum, penis and often the abdominal wall, there is a risk of infection.
Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction: For You And Your Partner
The following information is based on the general experiences of many prostate cancer patients. Your experience may be different. If you have any questions about what prostate cancer treatment services are covered by your health insurance, please contact your health care provider or health insurance provider. This education material was made possible by a Grant from the California Department of Justice, Antitrust Law Section, from litigation settlement funds to benefit Californians diagnosed with cancer or their families.
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What Will Happen After Treatment
Youll be glad when treatment is over. But its hard not to worry about cancer coming back. When cancer comes back it is called a recurrence. Even when cancer never comes back, people still worry about it. For years after treatment ends, you will see your cancer doctor. At first, your visits may be every few months. Then, the longer youre cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed.
Be sure to go to all follow-up visits. Your doctors will ask about your symptoms, examine you, and might order blood tests and maybe other tests to see if the cancer has come back.
Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. You might be thinking about how to improve your health. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your doctor to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life, making healthy choices and feeling as good as you can.