Side effects of prostate cancer treatment are nothing new. But a new survey published by American Medical Systems sheds new light on how many survivors are suffering from side effects. Side effects like erectile dysfunction and incontinence, which are detrimentally affecting their sex lives and self image.
We wanted to share these important results, as so many of the men we talk to have told similar stories. They’ve survived the cancer but didn’t expect the side effects. They’re eager to get back to a normal lifestyle and love that Men’s Liberty allows them to do just that!
Here are some key excerpts from the survey results, provided by MediResource.
More than half of prostate cancer survivors say side-effects, including erectile dysfunction, affects their sex lives, a new survey has found.
The survey of 502 randomly selected prostate cancer survivors found 80% experienced erectile dysfunction. And 54% said it significantly affected their sex lives.
Of those polled, 27% reported their side-effects were worse than expected, especially when it came to being intimate.
The men also reported experiencing urinary incontinence in 43% of cases, with 23% of survivors needing to wear adult diapers.
The number of men who suffer side-effects may be surprising to other survivors, but Dr. Tim Davies says surgeons know just how many men go through it, often silently.
Davies, who is an assistant professor in the department of urology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., was not part of the survey. But he said that he hopes the results will get men talking.
“The more we talk about these things, the more we can hope men will talk about them,” Davies said in a phone interview Saturday.
“A lot of them feel very guilty about not being able to perform for their partner,” he said. “That’s a huge blow to a guy’s ego.”
The side-effects for both erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence can range from mild to severe. And Davies noted treatments can range from medication to surgery.
He said the focus of patients is often to get through the cancer and when they do, they are not expecting the side-effects, especially if they’re severe. But in his experience, he has been able to help most patients who have spoken to him about concerns and, in turn, survivors are able to return to a normal lifestyle.
“Unless patients speak up and say, ‘I’m having a problem with X and Y,’ they’re not going to get treatment,” Davies said. “When you get the opportunity, before the doctor walks out the door, speak up.”