What Will I Learn By Reading This
When you have treatment for your prostate cancer, you may have erectile dysfunction also known as impotence. Erectile dysfunction is a very common side effect . Side effects from prostate cancer treatment are different from one man to the next. They may also be different from one treatment to the next. Some men have no erectile dysfunction. The good news is that there are ways to deal with erectile dysfunction. In this booklet you will learn:
- What erectile dysfunction is
- Why prostate cancer treatment can cause erectile dysfunction
- What can be done about erectile dysfunction
- How erectile dysfunction may affect your sex life
- What your partner can expect
It is important for you to learn how to deal with erectile dysfunction so that you can continue to have a satisfying intimate relationship.
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How Can A Prostatectomy Impact Your Quality Of Life
Prostatectomy is not life-threatening, but prostate removal significantly affects the quality of life, and it may cause problems like urinary symptoms, bladder issues, erectile dysfunction, and more. T
These issues may last for several months and even years, something patients should be ready for if they decide to have the surgery.
However, a lot depends on the patients age and the kind of surgery done. Studies show that about 60% of patients would make an almost complete recovery within 3 months with no long-term complications. By 12-months, almost 90% of patients can expect to feel much better and nearly normal.
Unfortunately, improvement is slow for some people, and they need 2-3 years to revive their sexual function and get rid of urinary issues. Regretfully, these issues may continue to haunt some for a while.
Here it is vital to understand that the above data is for radical proctectomy . The outlook is better after partial proctectomy.
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.
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How Long Can You Live Without A Prostate
Although there are side effects, prostate removal surgery is not linked to a shortened life span. None of the side effects associated with removal are life threatening. In most cases, side effects can be treated.
The Importance Of Prostate Massage
Prostate massage is a treatment that addresses the root cause of most prostate issues. Treatments like surgery and medications only provide temporary relief by treating the symptoms and not the cause.
On the other hand, regular prostate massages encourage the gland to work without problems. A man will not be subjected to dangerous side effects from medication or complications from surgery. Massage also helps make the prostate stronger and more resistant from disease and infection.
Advantages Of Prostate Massage
Although regular prostate massage can help to eliminate or reduce the severity of any symptoms a man may have, it can also offer other benefits especially with improved sexual enjoyment and function.
It is a fact that modern medicine has not been able to determine the causes and treatments for many conditions related to the prostate. Even though prevention is the best medicine, prostate massage will help improve your prostateâs health and prevent existing conditions from becoming worse.
However, in the case of bacterial prostatitis, left untreated, can cause intense inflammation and increased bacterial growth.
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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.
Impotence After Prostate Surgery
In the past, up to 70 per cent of men who had their whole prostate removed because of cancer had some difficulty achieving an erection afterwards. This is because the prostate lies next to the nerves and blood vessels that are important for erections, and these nerves and vessels can be damaged during the operation. Newer surgical techniques that aim to spare the nerves associated with erectile function have reduced the risk of impotence.
While there is a still a significant risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery, there is often a gradual improvement in erectile function over time. Some men only have short-lived erectile dysfunction and others continue to improve for up to 3 years.
The Purpose Of Prostate Surgery
Prostate cancer surgery, or radical prostatectomy, is a procedure conventional medicine praises for curing prostate cancer.
It has been performed for many years and was regarded as the gold standard of prostate cancer treatment. However, few studies compare its efficacy to other techniques.
Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer today are typically diagnosed with Gleason 6 cancer levels. But, according to many experts, this diagnosis may not be cancer! According to Mark Scholz, MD, a board-certified oncologist and expert on prostate cancer:
Misuse of the term cancer has tragic implications. Real cancer requires action and aggressive medical intervention with the goal of saving a life. But consider the potential havoc created by telling someone they have cancer when it is untrue. This dreadful calamity is occurring to 100,000 men every year in the United States with men who undergo a needle biopsy and are told they have prostate cancer with a grade of Gleason 6.
The impact of this is quite profound. Most prostate cancer diagnosed today falls into this Gleason 6. If it is not cancer, thousands of men have had aggressive treatment for cancer they dont really have.
Aggressive treatment, usually a complete surgical removal of the prostate , is the typical result. This leaves the patient to suffer from its side effects for the rest of their life.
Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate
Transurethral resection of the prostate is a urological operation that involves cutting away a section of the prostate. It is most often used to relieve symptoms of urinary blockage, not necessarily to treat prostate cancer.
An instrument called a resectoscope is inserted through the opening of the urethra and the surgeon removes the inner part of the prostate gland .
The intervention lasts about an hour and it is most often used for non-cancerous blockage, but may also be used in cases of prostate cancer. The doctor doesnt need to make any incisions on the body. While most people can go home the same day, it is also likely that patients spend one or two days in the hospital. After the surgery, a urinary catheter will be placed because of the swelling that blocks urine flow.
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Prostate Cancer Treatments Carry Long
In the long run, the various side effects from treating prostate cancer with surgery versus radiation might not differ that much.
A new study published on Jan. 30 in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that while there were some differences in urinary, bowel and sexual function in the short term following prostate cancer treatment, there were no significant differences in side effects that were often present 15 years after treatment.
About 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2013, and 29,720 men will die from the disease this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
There has been recent debate between experts who say that prostate cancer should be routinely screened for and medical groups that argue men will suffer more and may not live longer if they treat the disease instead of leaving it alone. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a non-federal panel of medical experts that advise government treatment guidelines, caused controversy in 2012 when it recommended that all healthy men should not be screened for prostate cancer because the PSA test used is not that accurate, and may pick up cancers too-slow growing to cause a problem. Meanwhile, the panel said prostate cancer treatments can carry risky side effects.
Erectile dysfunction was reported in 87 percent of the prostatectomy group, while 93.8 percent of the radiotherapy group experienced those problems.
Why Is It Important To Know The Risk Level Of Your Cancer
Knowing whether your cancer is low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk is important when you are making treatment choices.
The risk level of your cancer is based on the results from your tests and exams, such as the PSA test, digital rectal exam, and prostate biopsy.
- Low-risk means that the cancer isn’t likely to grow right away. There is a chance it may grow so slowly that it never causes symptoms.
- Medium-risk means that the cancer is more likely to grow. Most people will likely need treatment with radiation therapy or surgery.
- High-risk means that the cancer will most likely grow right away. People will likely need treatment with radiation therapy or surgery.
Your doctor can help you understand your test results and the risk level of your cancer. Then you can compare your treatment options and make the choice that seems best to you.
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Hormone Therapy Side Effects
Testosterone is the primary male hormone, and plays an important role in establishing and maintaining typical male characteristics, such as body hair growth, muscle mass, sexual desire, and erectile function, and contributes to a host of other normal physiologic processes in the body. The primary systemic
Personal Stories About Having A Prostatectomy Or Radiation Therapy
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
My doctor told me I have prostate cancer. After I got over the shock, we talked about my treatment choices. My doctor told me the cancer is small, so I have taken some time to think about it. I could have surgery to remove my prostate or use radiation to try to kill the cancer. Except for this cancer, I am in good health and hope to live a good long while, so I have decided on a radical prostatectomy. I realize the surgery may cause problems with holding my urine or getting an erection, but I do not like the idea of cancer slowly growing in my prostate. I want to get rid of it and not just try to kill it with radiation.
Sam, age 50
My doctor told me after my last checkup that I have prostate cancer. I’ve got some heart problems that may make surgery more risky for me. So I’m choosing to have radiation therapy. We are also talking about using hormone therapy to try to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. I’m not that concerned about the side effects. I just want to enjoy a little more time with my family.
David, age 62
Steven, age 72
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Recovery Of Sexual Function After Surgery
Spontaneous erections may return as early as 6 months after a successful nerve-sparing prostate removal operation. However, some men may not experience the return of spontaneous erections for up to 3 years.
Return to normal sexual functioning can be helped by what is known as penile, or sexual, rehabilitation, which should be started before surgery and continued afterwards. It is thought that the following measures can speed up the return of spontaneous erections.
- Engaging in foreplay.
- Encouraging erections soon after surgery .
- Regular use of oral medicines to help with erections both before and straight after the surgery.
- Use of a vacuum erection device or injection therapy after the operation.
Where Can I Find Prostate Cancer Support Groups
Even though once you complete the surgery you most likely will find yourself cancer-free, the anxiety and stress may never totally go away. The support of your friends and family is essential in these moments, but the most relief you will find is among people that have gone through the same experience.
We advise you to search locally for prostate cancer or cancer survivors support groups and discuss your journey in beating this. You will find there plenty of people that lived through the same emotions and painful experiences and you will gather your strength to overcome this and not let it define the rest of your life.
If physical presence is not an option for you, there are plenty of forums and online communities that gather around this subject. You can find people that share their experiences and advice below:
Prostate cancer surgery is not as severe of a surgery as other ones. The recovery, especially after robotic surgery, usually lasts up to 2 to 3 weeks and patients can return to work and to living their normal lives.
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Help To Continue The Work
The Prostate Cancer Free Foundation, reviews the results of hundreds of thousands of men treated for prostate cancer. Tracking them for years. This information is available to you, and others like you, to help find the best prostate cancer treatment. This work takes time, effort, resources all of it done by volunteers. Please help us continue. Please Donate!
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What Are The Side Effects
The most common side effects of surgery are leaking urine and problems with getting or keeping an erection .
Your risk of getting these side effects depends on your overall health and age, how far the cancer has spread in and around the prostate and how likely it is to grow, and your surgeons skill and experience.
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Treatments For Urinary Incontinence Following Prostate Removal
- Pelvic floor exercise:Pelvic floor exercises are physical therapy exercises that can strengthen pelvic walls and better control the flow of urine.
- Bladder training: A physical therapist can help with bladder training exercises to help retrain the bladder for better control.
- Medications:Prescription medications can help control the muscles in the bladder.
Side Effects Of Robotic
The rates of major side effects from robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy are about the same as open surgical approaches. The most common side effects include the following:
Urinary incontinence : Similar to open surgery, urinary incontinence can occur following a robotic prostatectomy. However, this side effect often improves over time.
Erectile dysfunction : The return of erectile function following prostatectomy is based on the patients age, degree of preoperative sexual function and whether the nerves were spared during surgery. Unless cancer is suspected in the nerve tissue, surgeons will use nerve-sparing techniques during robotic prostatectomy to minimize the surgical impact on sexual function.
Robotic Prostate Surgery | Q& A
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Surgery To Remove Prostate Cancer
Surgery is one of the main treatments for prostate cancer. You usually have surgery to remove your prostate gland. This is a radical prostatectomy.
A radical prostatectomy is a major operation with some possible side effects. You may not need this type of surgery if youre an older man with a slow growing prostate cancer. This is because your cancer might grow so slowly that youre more likely to die of old age or other causes than from prostate cancer.
Why Is There Increasing Concern At This Time Regarding Erectile Dysfunction Issues Following Radical Prostatectomy
The reality of the recovery process after radical prostatectomy today is that erectile function recovery lags behind functional recovery in other areas. Patients are understandably concerned about this issue and, following months of erectile dysfunction, become skeptical of reassurances that their potency will return.
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Help Managing Cancer Treatment Side Effects
The team at Compass Oncology is experienced in helping patients treat prostate cancer and manage the side effects of treatment. If you live in the Portland-Vancouver area, have more questions about the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, or need help managing your side effects, request an appointment at one of our locations thats convenient for you. Were here with you every step of the way.
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What Side Effects Will I Have
During your treatment, radiation must pass through your skin. You may notice some skin changes in the area exposed to radiation.
Your skin may become red, swollen, warm, and sensitive, as if you have a sunburn. It may peel or become moist and tender. Depending on the dose of radiation you receive, you may notice hair loss or less sweat within the treated area.
These skin reactions are common and temporary. Theyâll fade gradually within 4 to 6 weeks after you finish your treatment. If you notice any skin changes outside the treated area, tell your doctor or nurse.
Long-term side effects, which can last up to a year or longer after treatment, may include:
- A slight darkening of the skin
- Skins feels more or less sensitive
- A thickening of tissue or skin
Other possible side effects of external beam radiation therapy are:
Tiredness. Your fatigue might not lift until a few weeks or months after you finish getting radiation therapy.
Lymphedema. If radiation therapy damages the lymph nodes around your prostate gland, the fluid can build up in your legs or genital area. That can bring on swelling and pain. Physical therapy can usually treat lymphedema, but it might not go away completely.
Urinary problems. Radiation can irritate your bladder, and that could lead to a condition called radiation cystitis. You might:
- Have to pee more often
- Feel like it burns when you pee
- Notice blood in your urine
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