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Is Erectile Dysfunction A Sign Of Prostate Cancer

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Sex When You’re Single

Erectile Dysfunction from Prostate Cancer Treatment | Prostate Cancer Staging Guide

Being sexually active and feeling attractive can be just as important if you are a single man. All the treatments described here are available to you if you’re single – whether you want to be able to masturbate, have sex, or want to start a new relationship.

If you are starting a new relationship, sexual problems and other side effects like urinary or bowel problems could be a worry. Some men worry that having problems with erections will affect their chances of having a new relationship. Fear of rejection is natural, and everyone has their own worries, whether or not they’ve had cancer. If you’re single, you may want time to come to terms with any changes prostate cancer has caused before you start having sex or dating.

Try talking over your worries with someone you feel comfortable with, such as a friend. Counselling or sex therapy may also help if you would prefer to talk to someone you don’t know.

Are There Any Surgical Techniques That Have Been Developed To Improve Erectile Function Outcomes

At this time, there are several different surgical approaches to carry out the surgery, including retropubic or perineal approaches as well as laparoscopic procedures with freehand or robotic instrumentation. Much debate but no consensus exists about the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches. Further study is needed before obtaining meaningful determinations of the success with different new approaches.

Why Erectile Dysfunction May Result From Prostate Disease

In the past, it was thought that most cases of erectile dysfunction were psychological in origin, the result of such demons as performance anxiety or more generalized stress. While these factors can cause erectile dysfunction, doctors now think that 70% of the time the problem can be traced to a physical condition that restricts blood flow, hampers nerve functioning, or both. Such conditions include diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and alcoholism.

However, some types of prostate disease and treatments may also be responsible.

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When To See A Doctor

Consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms discussed on this page particularly if they have been going on for a while. You will need a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause, which may or may not be prostate cancer.

Its important to understand that other diseases or disorders can share these same symptoms. Benign prostatic hyperplasia , also called enlargement of the prostate, and are quite common. Men with these benign conditions can experience symptoms more often and more severely than men with prostate cancer.

Erectile dysfunction is relatively common, especially as one ages, and can also have causes unrelated to prostate cancer, such as smoking or cardiovascular disease. Experiencing a lower amount of fluid during ejaculation can be related to something as simple as diet or dehydration.

Its important to keep track of your symptoms, determining whats normal or abnormal for your own body. If you are worried about a particular symptom, or if its interfering with a relationship, you should discuss your concerns with your primary care physician.

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Hormone Therapy Effects On Erections

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Hormone treatment is commonly given for prostate cancer. Men given androgen deprivation therapy are at a high risk for sexual problems, including loss of sexual desire and erectile dysfunction. Erections may or may not recover when ADT is stopped. Erectile dysfunction;drugs do not usually work in these cases because they don’t help with the loss of;sexual desire.

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The Services We Think Should Be Available

Recent;guidance on erectile dysfunction treatment, produced by us and Macmillan, recommends early intervention and a choice of five treatment options in order to give men the best chance of recovery. These are:

  • an appropriate choice of medication, including a daily low dose of tadalafil
  • vacuum pumps

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Radiation Given For Prostate Cancer

Some men will have issues with erections within a few years of external beam radiation for prostate cancer. Some of these men may have erections that allow penetration, but only a small portion report their erections are as good as they were before treatment.

Some men with early-stage prostate cancer have a choice between radiation and surgery to treat their cancer. When looking at how mens erections are affected by prostate cancer treatment, there does not seem to be much long-term difference between the two. Men who have had radiation may see a general decrease in the firmness of their erections over time . In contrast, after surgery most men have erection problems right away and then have a chance to recover erections in the first 2 years following the surgery. About 4 years after either treatment, the percentage of men reporting ED is about the same. Treatments can often help these men get their erections back whether theyve had surgery or radiation.

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Fixing Erectile Dysfunction from Prostate Cancer Treatment

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Changes In Lavatory Habits

Among the first signs of prostate cancer are changes in urination or defecation habits. Thats because as the prostate gland tumor grows, it may press against the bladder and urethra. Depending on the tumors size and location, it could cause:

  • Frequent urination, especially sudden urges at night
  • Slow, interrupted or inconsistent stream of urine
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
  • Burning, stinging or other pain during urination
  • Blood in urine
  • The need to empty the bladder by straining or pushing

How Can Prostate Surgery And Radiation Therapy Cause Ed

Both prostate surgery and radiation therapy can damage tissue around the prostate and cause ED. In fact, it is estimated that 25% 75% of men will have ED after the removal of the prostate, called a prostatectomy. Similarly, radiation therapy can also cause damage to the tissue around the prostate. If nerves get damaged, signals from the brain may not be able to reach the penis to initiate an erection. And even when sexual stimulation is present, if blood vessels are damaged, that might mean that blood cant flow properly to the penis to maintain an erection.

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Psychological Effects Of Cancer Treatment On Erections

Many men report disappointment, fear, and distress when they have trouble with erections. They report they feel that something important is missing. Men may report a general unhappiness with life and depression when they have problems with erections. These feelings are a natural part of coping with erection problems. And most men, if they are able find effective treatments to help with their erections, will start to feel better. If these feelings are severe or persist, most men find it very helpful to see a mental health professional who specializes in sexual issues or a psychiatrist who can help address these feelings.

Worries about self-image and performance can sometimes lead to erection problems, too. Instead of letting go and feeling excited, a man may focus on whether he will be able to function, and fear of failure might make it happen. He may blame the resulting problem on his medical condition, even though he might be able to have an erection if he were able to relax.

A therapist or mental health professional;who specializes in helping patients with sexual issues can often assist in the treatment of erection problems caused by anxiety and stress. Any treatment for an erection problem should be based on the results of a thorough exam, which should include both medical questions and certain medical tests.

Importance Of Regular Screenings

Prostate Cancer and Erectile Dysfunction

These common signs and symptoms can be attributed to several other medical conditions or causes. For instance, ED can simply be caused by stress, and pain can be attributed to a pulled muscle or other injury.

So how do you know when any of these red flags are signaling prostate cancer? Only your doctor can determine the root cause of any of these problems. With one in nine men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States, its important to receive regular prostate cancer screenings and to inform your doctor of any new signs or symptoms right away.

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Radiation Therapy And Sexual Function

Sexual dysfunction occurs in 20~80% of patients who undergo radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may cause injuries, including to nerves, if the radiation range expands to the trigone of the bladder, ectopic ureteral orifice, posterior and lateral rectal wall, and bulbo-membranous urethra. Complications that occur after radiation are classified as early and late. Early complications occur in tissues that undergo rapid mitosis, like the intestinal mucosa, and are typically reversible, whereas late complications occur due to injury of the microvessels, and are irreversible changes.

Generally, the main complications that occur after radiation therapy, such as proctitis, urethral stricture, edema of the penis and lower extremities, and erectile dysfunction, have been shown to occur at incidences of 10% or less. Additionally, the frequency of maintaining erectile function after radiation therapy has been reported to be approximately 50%, which is higher than that of radical prostatectomy. Formenti et al reported no increase in the frequency of sexual function abnormality after adjuvant radiation therapy following a nerve-preservation radical prostatectomy. Litwin reported no difference in quality of life among radical surgery, radiation therapy, and observation groups, but found that patient satisfaction with sexual function and voiding symptoms was lower in the radical surgery group than in the other two groups.

How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed

Screenings are the most effective way to catch prostate cancer early. If you are at average cancer risk, youll probably have your first prostate screening at age 55. Your healthcare provider may start testing earlier if you have a family history of the disease or are Black. Screening is generally stopped after age 70, but may be continued in certain circumstances.

Screening tests for prostate cancer include:

  • Digital rectal exam: Your provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feels the prostate gland, which sits in front of the rectum. Bumps or hard areas could indicate cancer.
  • Prostate-specific antigen blood test: The prostate gland makes a protein called protein-specific antigen . Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer. Levels also rise if you have BPH or prostatitis.
  • Biopsy: A needle biopsy to sample tissue for cancer cells is the only sure way to diagnose prostate cancer. During an MRI-guided prostate biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging technology provides detailed images of the prostate.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

Early-stage prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms. These problems may occur as the disease progresses:

  • Frequent, sometimes urgent, need to urinate, especially at night.
  • Weak urine flow or flow that starts and stops.
  • Painful urination .
  • Painful ejaculation and erectile dysfunction .
  • Blood in semen or urine.
  • Lower back pain, hip pain and chest pain.
  • Leg or feet numbness.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Prostate Cancer

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It isnt clear as to why cells in the prostate mutate and multiply. However, based on studies, there are a handful of risk factors that might lead men to develop prostate cancer. These include age, race, genetic history, and obesity.;

  • Age: As age increases, the risk of prostate cancer is greater.
  • Race: As a common occurrence across many cancers, African-American men have an increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men of other races. They also have a greater chance of having aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Genetic History: If prostate cancer has affected any of the men in your family, or breast cancer has affected the women, your likelihood of developing it is greater.
  • Obesity: Mostly, every form of cancer has a link between unhealthy weight and cancer. Obese patients usually have a greater risk of having a more aggressive prostate cancer.;

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When To Be Concerned

There are some specific symptoms which may be red flags for a growing tumor or advanced cancer outside of the prostate gland.

Talk with your doctor about any of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness or numbness in your feet or legs due to pressure from the tumor on your spinal column
  • Losing weight and having no appetite
  • Fatigue, nausea and vomiting
  • Problems with your bowels, especially constipation
  • Deep pains in your groin, pelvis, lower back, and upper thighs
  • Swelling in your legs

Of course there can be other medical reasons for some of these symptoms, so it is imperative that you seek medical advice for any of these signs.

Prostate cancer can be treated when caught in its early stages. Be aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer, and contact Cleveland Urology Associates if you experience any medical changes.

Providing Your Medical History

At first, the doctor will probably ask you about your medical history. Do you have any chronic illnesses? What illnesses and operations have you had in the past? What medications are you taking, if any? Your doctor is also likely to ask about your psychological well-being and lifestyle: Do you suffer from depression? Are you under a lot of stress? Do you drink alcohol? Smoke? Use illegal drugs? Have you felt a loss of affection for your partner? Have you recently grown interested in a new partner?

As part of this health history, be prepared to tell your doctor specific details about the symptoms that brought you to the office and when they began. Your doctor might want to know how often you had sex before the problem started and if there have been weeks or months in the past when youve had erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may conduct a written or verbal screening test.

If the cause is clear a recent operation for prostate cancer, for example the conversation may move directly to your treatment options. Otherwise, you may need to answer more questions to help the doctor narrow down the possible causes and avoid unnecessary testing.

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How Common Is Prostate Cancer

About one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting males. Close to 200,000 American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year. There are many successful treatments and some men dont need treatment at all. Still, approximately 33,000 men die from the disease every year.

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Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland – a walnut sized gland at the base of the bladder in men. Most men with early prostate cancer don’t have any signs or symptoms. “Prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis ,” explains the NHS.

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