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Men are faced with many physical, emotional and sexual challenges after a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Today, there are many choices for treatment options to consider. What may be best for one person isn't for another. Collect the facts, discuss your options with your cancer treatment team, and talk with other prostate cancer survivors.
Take the time to be comfortable with your treatment option beforehand. Don't be afraid to ask questions about how your treatment will affect your sexual function. It's more important to have a good understanding of what to expect after treatment is over.
Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy can all cause some sexual side effects. Nerve-sparing surgery to remove prostate cancer is less likely to cause erectile dysfunction. However, this may not be an option for everyone depending on the tumor size and location.
Remember to give your body time to heal after surgery before getting too frustrated with loss of function. It can take a year or two for the nerves and blood vessels to heal completely.
Some important steps to consider if you are experiencing sexual side effects:
Many of you have asked for this topic of discussion. This is an opportunity to ask your questions and share with others what has worked for you.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
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I've read several of your comments. One option for treatment of pc I didn't see on what I read is proton radiation therapy. It is a different option and all who have been there/done that believe there is much less possibility of ed and urinary incontinence. Check this out at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA. There is a group know as the BOB (those who have done proton). Check it out and you will be happy to know of this option. This group of men is very happy to share their experience with you. Ask to speak with Lynn Martell at LLU, and he will help you find the right resources. My husband had proton and we are most happy he chose this option. It's painless. Tilly
im with a man who had the radiation treatment for prostate cancer in 2009 how long until he regains a full erection after this i care for him very much and and we would like very much to have good ole fashion sex ha is in his 70s and me in my 60s please tell me something he refuses to take any kind of drugs
Tres etapa he tenido, 2003 externa radiation
viagra, ejaculacion dolorosa y seca, despues del 2 anos se fue perdiendo el livido.
Ano 2010 recurrente con alta psa y metastasi
en sacro, lumbar, hombros, costillas Lupron y zometa por un ano, Reduccion del sexo y com viagra y cialices se podia hacer algo.
Ano 2013 PSA 1500 altisimo nuevo tratamiento zometa y hormonal.. y aqui se perdio todo deseo sexual al extremo que ver el sexo opuesto es como ver una piedra, no ereccion, livido, no furza y usado injeccio en el pene he llegado al Quadnix -19injeccion 30 unidqades y aquello ni seda por enterado.
En fin Me considero como un "Eunuco" sirviendo a las comcubinas del rey sin poderle meter mano Vamos a ver si Dios se apiada de mi algun dia, o ha sido mi pruba quie sabe....Saludos
We just found out my husband of 25 years has prostate cancer. He said it will ruin our sex life after he has surgery. I say, I don't have a sex life at all without him. If a treatment is going to allow me to stay in the company of my beautiful man for a longer amount of time it is a blessing. I always knew, I loved my spouse but this has made me realize how much he means to me. Our sex life has already changed drastically but our Love life is stronger. God Bless You All.
I am now 60, had protate surgery(robotic)5 years ago for early detection of pc. Still cancer free. Had no major incontinence problems. Sexual function gradually improved over the next 4 years, but not quite back to normal. And as some say, yes the penis did get shorter, 1/2 inch, probably from part of tube being removed. Erections are at about 75-80% of what they used to be before surgery. Doesn't get as hard, doesn't last as long, takes a bit more to get stimulated. Penetration is possible most of time, but a little more difficult because not as hard. Viagra or Cialis certainly help, gets me back to about 95% of what erection used to be. Some small side effects from drugs, not bad, small headache or flushed face at times. One thing I can find no answers for. If I take the longer acting Cialis, it does work well, will help for up to 3-4 days. Sex is good, and also then find I wake up often with full erection. If I have sex for 3 or 4 times in a few day period(not complaining), I find I start getting quite a soreness up inside, about where I imagine the protate used to be. Orgasms will start to also have a dull pain, and for several days I find after urniation, there is some, what feels like cramping at the end of emptying bladder. Wife says it sounds like bladder infection, but test shows no infection. Soreness gradually goes away. Could it be irritation from scarring inside or shortened urethea(sp?) being streched more often? Anyone with similiar syptoms?
My husband and I met 9 years after his surgery for advanced pc. On our first date he was totally transparent about his situation -- urinary incontinence and ed. Nonetheless, we connected intellectually and emotionally. Two months later he had a surgery to place a sling. No more leakage and a ceremonial disposal of the depends! From the start I told him I had no interest in sex, but I LOVE to make love. My philosophy had always been about the sensuality of melding mind, body and soul. We agreed that together we could work it out. And we did. Then his psa started climbing with all the attendant anxiety. The first urologist said the only treatment had to be hormone therapy. I questioned him about side effects. Since I'd had a radical hysterectomy, he'd had a prostatectomy (sp?) and we were both in our late sixties, this verrry young Doc was amazed that we had a sex life. We went elsewhere for treatment. Radiation took care of the psa Our intimacy continued during the radiation! Sometimes we simply hold one another and focus on the deep feelings of our love. Often things progress and work out quite well. Not always, but that's okay. We also engage in those old standbys of a pat on the tush or express appreciation when dressing -- or undressing. Or just hugging and kissing. Pills are rarely needed. In short, the primary sex organ is between the ears. It's all about the expression of our love and regard for one another. We'll both be 73 this year, life is great!
This post is for Sandy and others looking for a supportive group to discuss diagnosis, treatment and survivorship after prostate cancer in the Rochester area. We have an excellent local support group which is lead by men who are prostate cancer survivors. The group organizes educational meetings and support for men and their partners and is an excellent way to discuss treatment decisions and access to local resources. The group meets the second Wednesday of every month from 12 - 1:30 p.m. in the Baldwin Building, Street level (room 1-507). Contact is Richard Vetter, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org). The other excellent resource if you are not in the Rochester area is www.ustoo.org.
I have been told my biopsy shows 80 percent on one side and 30 percent on the other. In search of information I went to the website ... Am due to talk to the surgeons and radiation people in one week with treatment or surgery in 4 weeks. The comments of fellow prostate patients is VERY disheartening. As a retired psychological therapist, where are counseling and small group meetings?! Even though many of us Mayo patients are scattered there should be no trouble setting up pre GTVKumand post treatment small groups on computer. From the comments this seems ESSENTIAL for those of us in fear of the upcoming and those trying to deal with the aftermath (this is obviously needed by life partners also). Mayos, do you need help setting these up? I expect better of the Clinic ... And the lack of response to the input SCARES me almost as much as the cancer.
I have no trouble using my full name: Sandy Robert Shaw, a patient at Mayos for 16 years. Mayos: please answer these comments without saying "You can find the answers elsewhere.". When people are hurting, they often find it hard to wend their way through the maze.
Bugger me!! I have just been diagnosed, results of bone scan and CAT scan not known yet. The posts on this blog are a bit disturbing. I suppose that after making a CONSIDERED decision about treatment, if there are problems I will just have suck it up. My partner of 2 years is supportive; we have each other, we are not getting any younger (67/70) and we need to make each day count. I have been divorced 3 times. I have come out of each of those events with less money each time and now live on welfare. I have paid my taxes in the past so that does not bother me.
Do what you have to do to be happy. If that means leaving a non supportive partner, DO IT.
Be alive, find a partner who will bring you joy. Or not. Be yourself.
I am optimistic but what else can you be. Damn it all, it ain't fair, but it happens. You can't wish it away. I won't let it destroy us.
I have been reading some comments. It saddens me that prostate cancer can destroy lives. This does not have to be the case!! My husband had prostate cancer and a robotic prostectomy 4 years ago. No sex has never and will never be the same. So what??? We have each other. We have a wonderful family and we love each other. I am just so blessed he is still with us, and other then a few MINOR problems he is healthy. Having my husband means more to me then anything. We only have one life, live to the fullest and focus on the wonderful things you do have.
My PSA's were 21 and 11. My needle biopsy showed cancer on the left side only but on 5 of 6 needles and the Gleason score was a 3+4. I am a 46 heterosexual who is engaged. I am 5 ft 11 and weigh 195. What is my best option with the least amount of side-effects? Also, the more I read on this site the less I want to put my fiancé through a sexless marriage. I have to be honest, I wish I had not told my sisters and brother, because I think I would have rather just lived 10 more years and die mysteriously . Feeling lost?
Within a week received results from prostate biopsy after a psa of 7.5.
Gleason score , 3-3 , of the 12 cores one sample had 6% malignant cells. Today had a CT scan, hoping cancer is only in the one core sample. Is this situation cause to remove prostate? I think that if this would mean no radiation or chemo then I'm good with that. Plus the psa ordeal would be over correct?
I am dating someone who had pc surgery almost 2 years ago. When I first started dating him, he was standoffish sexually. He finally told me about it after dating for an extended period of time and stated since he was 12 years older than me anyway that I would not be interested. I read and educated myself about it, looked at our relationship and how in tune we were mentally and really never thought again about it. There are other things other than penetration, that we share with one another and it is fantastic, for the both of us. He does not get super hard no matter what we do but he still achieves a wonderful feeling from it, and I just say,,, experiment, don't be shy. If you are in tune with one another open up and share. Yes, he takes viagra and sometimes he will give himself a shot, but we have sex 3 - 4 times a week and it is out of this world. Please do not give up hope, it could just be you may not have the right loving partner to share with. :)
This is for Marilyn, Frank and others who are writing their feelings and experiences on the blog. I am glad that you are using this blog to express your feelings of anger and frustration. Your feelings are real and they are fairly normal because you weren't prepared for the outcome. It's the first step in working through the emotions, and this blog is an easy(and fairly anonymous)way to do that. Everyone will have very different treatment experiences, not one is the same as the next. It's very true that the medical and surgical professionals working with and treating men with prostate cancer should communicate the reality of the risks and potential side effects as best as they can...however, each person will have a different oucome based on thier individual differences. Not all men experience what you mention. Keep doing the best you can to communicate your emotions and feelings, along with exploring a way to change your anger into something more helpful to you personally. Find a way to make a difference in support, advocacy or awareness within a local group.
My husband had the prostrate surgery about 5 and a half yrs ago.. the doctors handled the whole thing badly, as did I -but I didn't know better, they have the degrees... anyway, they cut the cancer out and act like there is something he is doing wrong because he can't get it on. Let me tell you, it is OVER. we have been together 37 yrs, and i have done every thing i can, decent and indecent- now i am just angry all the time and i cry all the time now.. just cry, i have no control over it. i snapped last fall, about 5 yrs later and i am just angry. i am trying to write a helpful letter to the doctors but i get so angry i go off and just go nuts. and everyone treats me like there's something wrong with ME for having these feelings. i didn't ask for them and five yrs ago i did not have them, i went thru the change and the joke is, our libidos increase when they can't get their thing up as they get older w. or w.o PC surgery right? I don't know.. good luck but they all tell you lies, there is no erection, it gets smaller and maybe you can get it in her, she is not going to feel a damn thing. truth, you need truth not these fairy stories.. and no there were issues before surgery we didn't get worked out and it never will be now because they were not HONEST.
Brian, Thank you for your statement on "THERE ARE OTHER TYPES OF FULFILLMENT WITH COUPLES". Anything is possible, but just never throw your mate and friends over the cliff. Be there for them!
On October 2, 2012, I had a robotic prostate cancer surgery. My PSA was 6.3 and went down to 5.1 before surgery. As today I have urinary incontinence low during the morning to medium after 3 in the afternoon. I have periods of time of 30 mins to 45 mins I am dry. I also have erectile dysfunction, my doctor gave Levitra 1/4 every other day. Sometimes I feel that I am regaining my power but I do not get a total erection. I am a young 68 years old very anxious to go back to normal.
I had the da Vinci Prostatectomy five years ago. Went out of network (Minimal insurance coverage, cost me plenty) to get the this surgery as my urologist pushed it on me as the best for sparing nerves, I was only 45. I have never had an erection since. My marriage is over, very depressed. If I had it to do all over I would have done nothing and told no one I had PC.
I AM DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTRATE CANCER and after taking tablet the PSA has come down from 8.4 to 5.5. How long I have to take medicine and what should me daily routine IN FOOD AND SLEEP. Frequent urination was my main problem.
Excellent and informative website
I am turning 61 next month. At age 40 I had pancreatic cancer and a had a whipples operation. 7 years ago I had spleen and gallbladder removed and am now type 1 diabetic. On my last check I had the PSA run which has gone from 4 in January this year to 30. I have bene diagnosed with PC and am awaiting final diagnosis of how serious this is. What effect will this have on my diabetes etc. I go to teh gym 4 days a week for an hour at atime but am so tired.
I had surgery in 6/09. With Viagra,I'm able to get an erection, but it's not the same. It seldom lasts long enough to achieve an orgasm. I do have urine shoot out instead of semen and strange as this may seem, I'd rather have this "peecum" than nothing. We have sex once a week and she uses vibrators. I enjoy watching her and sometimes I have an orgasm and sometimes not. Also the Viagra has side effects which arn't the most pleasant, but I'd rather have these side effects than not ever having an erection. It's different now.
So sorry to read about your case. 50 years is a long time to be with someone who doesn't care. Hang in there and seek some counsel from someone who knows what you are going through. As it is with most men, that someone is definitely not your wife. Try a son, or a brother...just don't waste your time with the wife any longer. I am going through an eerily similar situation, though married half as long. I have filed for divorce because I can't take being blamed for "catching" cancer. I may only have a short time left on this earth and I don't need anymore "hell" here. I can't tell what a wonderful sense of PEACE came over me when I signed the documents. Be strong brother and don't waste another minute with that woman. Life is too short and precious. It really is not your fault. Go with God and peace be with you.
I read the article by Dr. Castle...I don't find it comforting that a condom is sufficient protection from radiation. I wonder if anyone has bothered to do clinical research? Or are we letting women be guinea pigs and will find out in 10 years that there is a "peculiar" incidence of cervical cancer in the partners of men who have been treated with radioactive seeds.
Karen- I have not found any studies, but Dr. Castle from Mayo Clinic has an article written in the Prostate Cancer section about precautions to take after radioactive seed implant (see this page on mayoclinic.com - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancer-brachytherapy/AN01629)
Karl, I am glad that you are writing into the blog, this may help you to see that you are not alone in your feelings and also my hope is that you will seek other ways to enjoy intimacy in your relationship with your wife. Have you tried to share your fears with her? Sometimes just starting the conversation is the hardest part. She is probably also worried about you. If you are not able to talk with her, get together with a close friend and share your feelings, you will be surprised at the support you receive. Also, very important, mention this to your doctor...especially your feelings of depression and suicide. There are people out there who care about you and can help if you reach out.
Are there any studies on the incidence of cancer in partners of men who have had radioactive prostate seeds implanted?
I will be having surgery in the next couple months, then proton radiation. I have had ED for about 20 years. I just assumed it was psychological because my wife did not want sex with me, and never had. We have been married 50 years. No one could find any cancer. Suddenly my psa jumped from 7 to 25, and I had 3+4=7. I am very discouraged. Suicide may be the answer. I am working as hard as I can to create a life for us. But nothing works.
Since when is penile penetration the only way to fulfill sexual desires? 29 years of marriage,
I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and Bladder cancer in Dec. 2011; I had a Gleason score of 8 and PSA of 32. I had robotic radical prostatectomy in Jan. 2012. During surgery, the doctor found the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and immediately put me on a daily hormone treatment. After 3 months my PSA is at 0.09 and the incontinence is almost gone. The biggest problem is ED. I have not had an erection on my own and am using a vacuum pump device which does not work so well. I also take Cialis daily which does not help either. At age 53, it is really depressing and my wife of 20+ years is VERY unsupportive, which is extremely disheartening. I feel like part of me has died, and she is laughing about it. Pretty cruel.
I had radiation seed therapy four years ago without the additional linear accelerator treatment afterwards. All of my three younger brothers have had treatments since. Two brothers had surgery and one had seeds with additional radiation. At 58 years of age, it takes a little longer to become erect but my wife sees it as a challenge and is VERY helpful. Her attention at our age is what makes me excited. We have great sex and ED drugs can make it go for hours with short breaks to catch our breath. I save the ED meds for special occasions!
At age 46,had prostate removed due to cancer,Dr said good chance of a normal life afterwards, now at 51 I havent had sex in 5 yrs, as equipment dont work, Viagra etc dont work, the injections are not for me as I faint at needles, marriage on the rocks as wife is 8 yrs younger. Deppression , low self esteem, a shrinking penis all takes it toll on life after prostate cancer,havent found a way to deal with it all entirely yet after five yrs. Good Luck to all in same boat.
My husband and I were married in November of 2011. He is 61 and I am 40. He is was just diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. We are very scared. HELP!
Probably the way I just did.
How do you post a response to peoples questions?
Before you have any treatment for prostate cancer, investigate all the options and take control of your treatment. Make sure you ask for referral to someone who can help with sexual dysfunction because it's a real problem. And if your husband will be on hormone deprivation treatment, make sure you discuss this ahead of time because this treatment results in loss of libido and loss of interest in any sexual activity. This is devastating for the partner who shares the anxiety about the cancer progression. Happily for the men (not so much for wives)the loss of libido means he is perfectly happy in the altered gender state and is likely not to care too much about your needs after the hormone treatment starts. Get your commitments ahead of time. And don't count on your doctors to be thinking about this. They are concerned with treating the cancer, not treating the side effects of the treatments or usually the fact that this cancer takes from two people. Jo
my husband had pc surgery May 2011. He had radiation treatment January 2012 which last for 7 weeks. we had not have sex for 10 months because he cannot have an erection. He said his Dr. told him his erection will return after several month after radiation. we have our fingers cross and hoping it will return so that we can get our lives back in order. He is 56 yrs old and I am 48 yrs old. It is frustrating at times but I cope.
If my husband has surgery, he is 63, how long does it take to regain urinary control and previous sexual function?
Neil, We live in the Boston area and it doesn't seem to be offered here. Where did you get the treatment. My husband, Bill, has early stage cancer of the prostate. None of the choices are very attractive: surgery, external radiation and internal radiation. He is a very young 63. Neither one of us want to have to think about impotence or incontinence.
Please Please check out Proton treatment before you have surgury. I am 74 and completed my 45 days of treatment in Aug. My PSA went from 9.3 before to 1.5 and I like others who have had this treatment are very happy to have gone this rout. You do not feel any thing at all during the procedure other than having frequent urination which goes away within 2 weeks of the procedure. Check the internet to find out the whole story. It is expensive but if yoy have good insurance it will be paid for. One man came in during his lunch hour for treatment and then went back to work.
I will be having my prostate removed in Feb , or early March with the robotic method ,I'm only 46 but yet I have developed this problem . My question is at my age how long will the side effects of ED take to cure I will be doing all the exercises that the doctor said to do but I'm getting worried about how long it's going to take to get the proper function back . if any of you can please give me as much info as you can I would appreciate it , thank you
My father is 74 years young. He has had several years of problems with his prostrate (enlarged). We just found out that his PSA is 25. He refuses to have any medical treatments. He states that he would rather die than not be a man anymore. His decision, although ultimately his to make, is heart wrenching. My mother and I need to know what to expect as he progresses. How can we possibly make his life easier.
my husband is a surviver of prostate cancer his prostste was removed no chemo nor radiation was requried he 4yrs cancer fress psa checks are great we've not had sex in 7+yrs. he is 61 years im 49yrs. old iv asked him to talk with his doc regardin this matter i dont think he's has been honest with his uro docter iv spoke with my own dr's re:this matter i know there r other option my husband and i have been married 17yrs.im still attractd to my husband i ask him openly what can we do to resolve this situation.i think he is neverous an r scarred due to this matter TRUST ME IV HAVE TRY'D EVERYTHING POSS.ect to make him comfortable iv ask him repeatly to speak to his doctor honestly is there anything else i can do? some one please help.we've have be togather(20+yrs)IM STILL VERY MUCH IN LOVE WITH HIM.IM SO FRUSTRASTED.
My husband had cancer treatment for stage 2(after radiation & chemo followed by surgery and more chemo) rectal cancer. Fortunately his iliostomy was able to be reversed. He has been left with side effects which include Peripheral Neuritis, bone pain and ED. Prior to treatment he had erection difficulties(he also has CAD and had bypass surgery in 2003. His ED has significantly worsened. Has anyone else had similar concerns? He hasn't discussed it with our PCP who is female. His oncologist is male but has not mentioned ANY side effects at any time during the course of treatment. Much more needs to be done on this issue. These things need to be addressed.
2003 radical prostatectomy. There was zero counseling concerning any sexual functions, other than I could have an orgasam w/o an erection. There was no discussion about saving nerves. About a year later I was asked if I wanted to try a pump or penal implane again with no explanation. declined. Prior to surgery the surgeon snapped at his help because she did not have me laid out on the table properly for the presuregry exam. It took 10 years prior to surgery, and 3 biopsies before anyone could find a cancer cell, which was quite small and along the bladder. Part of my bladder was also removed to prevent cancer spreading. At age 73 I am healthy as a bear, look much younger, just now starting to have pain in the groin area. Sonogram and Catscan in 2011 has not found anything.
My husbnd had the seeds planted more than 18 months ago. Has no sexual desire, a lowback ache most of the time and seems to be tired as soon as he gets up. He's 55 and looks 80, he has had a few semi-erections and he eats the ED drugs like candy. Research, research, research we were told this would be the best way to keep sex in ours lives. But we failed to ask what kind of erections, what would happen to his sex drive and the toll all this would take on our marriage!
Had prostate removed in Nov of 2010. Do not have a problem with incontinence,but did have to go back because I scarred up. Erections come mostly in the dead of night. The Question I have is how long on average does it take to recover sexual function? I have heard that what you have after the first year is pretty much what you are stuck with. is that true?
Questions for Hugh and Dean:
I had DaVinci in November, 2010...I am now 53. Incontinence is only a rare/minor issue for me, but sexual functioning has not returned. ED meds are not really helping.
Hugh - how long before you experienced your full recovery?
Dean - have things improved since your post?
In August 2004 I elected Brachtherapy. And I had my most recent urological checkup on Mar. 2011. The results were as follow: Total PSA 0.12 mg/dl; Reference Range @00.-4.0; Normality N. The Rectal exam was stated as "soft and small". Plaase respond with your opinion on this. I have checkups every 6-8 months. I'm 75 year old.
I am 51 and had DaVinci 18 months ago. Gleason 7, 1cm tumor. I looked at all the options and chose surgery because of potential long term (25-30 years out) complications from radiation. This was strongly recommended because of my age. I am now cancer free with undetectable PSA. They were able to save both nerves, so I am almost entirely back to full sexual functioning without ED drugs. With ED drugs, better than new.
My Doctor has suggested that I get a Pelvic Catheter implanted. Has anyone had this done and can you tell me anything about the procedure and the results. Any imformation would be helpful.
PS: had my prostate removed had cancer in 3 lymph nodes and also in my semalow gland
For those who are incontinent, I would suggest using a condom catheter. It is non invasive, fits over the penis, drains urine into a bag which straps around the leg and can be emptied. No more problems, some inconvenience, but worthn it not to be embarrassed
I was diagnosed with PC in October, 2002 and had radiation seeds implanted in May, 2003. I had no incontentence at all, however did have ED. I used viagra before diagnoses, but none of the ED meds worked for me afterward. I had a penile implant 7 years ago, and have been a very happy man ever since. My current age is 75
I had DaVinci surgery with complete prosrate removal. I had some sucess but a MRSA infection (in the hospital) destroyed my performance.
It is tough but experimenting has led to alternative methods. The main point is that I am still alive and cancer free at 78.
I am 57, and was just told that I have the early stage of prostate cancer. They took 20 samples with 3 of them positive with cancer, all on the Left side of the Prostate. as most men, this is over whelming. I am single, and very healthy other than this.
Would Like to Hear back some input from others like me on What direction for treatment to go with.
thanks in advance... NATURALLY LOOKING for the LEAST amount of side effects... any Ideas ???
I had prostate surgery June 4, 2010, after having the catheter removed 10 days after surgery I began to heal normally; taking Viagra for sexual function as prescribed to date I have not had a normal erection but have some feeling return with a mild erection but not too firm, with much masturbation. After reading I now realize my sexual function may take a year or two to return if the nerves and the blood supply do go back to normal. Going to try injections to get erect and try to have a orgasm, as the Viagra does not work by itself. I am only 56 and hope to have sexual relations with my wife again but at this point time will tell if the nerve sparing surgery has worked. At some times this is very difficult for me to handle emotionally and i think it is hard on my wife too! But, at least I am cancer free and doing well over all!
Can brachytherapy cause side effects to the female partner?
I had prostate surgery at age 74 and suffered ED and incontinence. Dr. Tom Lea, urologist at the Univ. of Calif. San Francisco hospital put pump type implants into my scrotum about 8 years ago, and I've had no trouble since.
I was diagnosed with PC in Oct. of 2010 with a Gleason scale of 8, and a PSA of 6. I had a biopsy performed and 12 out of the 14 test sites came back positive for cancer. On Nov. 23rd I had my prostate removed using the DeVince method. My Doctor was able to save one full nerve bundle and a half of the other one, which was awsome news to wake up to. I was able to come home for Thankgiving Day. I was not able to enjoy much of the awsome meal my daughters made, my appetite was still out of balance. The first week I had real problems with the catheter, my bladder was going into spasams trying to reject it. After the 10th day I had the catheter removed and finally had relief from all the pain. This is the fourth week now and my incontinent is almost over. As far as my sexual desire... it has not returned yet. I can't afford a regiment of Viagra to help with the blood flow, so I guess I'll let nature take its course.
For those reading this blog who are interested in proton beam radiation therapy. See this news release from Mayo Clinic announcing the development of proton beam therapy at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center sites. Mayo Clinic Announces Proton Beam Therapy Program. Link to news release
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses high energy protons directed at the tumor site, much like external beam radiation, however it is stronger and more targeted. I found a good informational web site that explains how it works-
Would someone explain proton therapy please
I will be 70 in about a month and also have crohn's disease. My PSA has been in the 4.0-4.4 range for a few years until the last test which was 7. I had a biopsy done where 12 biopsy locations were taken and the result show one spot with a Gleason 6. My doctor seems to be leaning toward Brachythearpy. But I'm not too sure I want to go this route. I'm just starting my research as to what I want to do. Any suggestions would be helpful.
We currently have an online survey dealing with the intimacy issues as a result of prostate cancer treatments. As the problems involve both partners this survey is for both partners. We are closing the survey at the end of October so if you want to voice your opinions and and solutions log on to www.prostaid.org and hit the red check mark in the top right hand corner.
Don't miss out on this option to help PCa survivors and their partners to find solutions to common problems
Our health insurance did not cover Cialis or Lavitra even though the Mayo Clinic prescribed it. My husband orders it from a Canadian pharmacy and the cost is just a little more than one tenth of what we paid at a big box pharmacy.
I came to Mayo for evaluation of swollen prostate and a high PSA following gallbladder surgery when I was 62 years old. A biopsy revealed stage I PC. Dr. Myers prodded me to get my weight down before surgery which I did. Following nerve-sparing radical prostate surgery I was out of the hospital in a day. He insisted that I walk a great deal immediately following my release. I was back at work within a week. I am now 65 years old and follow his prescribed regimen of Cialis (half a pill a day) and Levitra (twice a week). My PSA is less than 0.1 and full sexual function returned within 7 weeks. No problems with incontinence. Friends my age (who have not had PC) tell me this is remarkable. I tell all my friends that I have two words for them when they have a high PSA: "Mayo Clinic."
had seed implant/radiation;and two injections of harmones since 2005; i feel fine most of the time; of course there are hot flashes; but im 61 and the ed is really taking its toll; i just want to join in and see where this goes; i am open.. tried viagar/cialis to no avail, but to all of you we got to preservere.
My husband had radical prostate surgery March 26,2009. Some days I think the surgery was the worst decision we could have made. Not only does he have ED but the incontinence is unbearable for him. if he gets slightly excited he is like a puppy dog. his doctor told him no matter what type of dr he went to they would tell him there way of treating it was the best. Emotionally he has become someone i do not know most of the time. Where most people have bad days once in a while we have good. PLEASE get a second third even a fourth opinion when it comes to prostate cancer. Our lives will never be the same.
As a 59 year old male who has survived rectal cancer by one year I can tell you that ED was an immediate problem following surgery for removal of rectum and a portion of the colon. So as folks dealing with PC after affects share their issues, believe me, there are others who are intensely interested in successful treatments and the timeline to expect positive changes. I tried 36 hour Cialis once but the tremendous headache that went along with it completely overwhelmed any romantic thoughts. Haven't tried Viagra or Levitra yet but their cost (not covered by insurance) definitely makes one hesitant to get into them if the result will be the same. Hearing that other men have had to wait more than a year after pelvic surgery to see improvement is at least a glimmer of hope. I'd like to get into a support group to talk to other men but have not found one yet.
As Donald mentioned earlier, check our Proton therapy before you make any decision. I had my treatment at Loma Linda University Medical Center in early 2009, but as Don said, there are now 6 other centers in the US offering this treatment. Loma Linda has been using it for 20 years for prostate cancer, with outstanding sucess. Very minimal side effects compared to all other treatments.
On the sexual topic, I woke up once with happy happy..I do need the Viagra to satisfy our needs..Hopefully in time I will get back to normal sexual feelings....Hot flashes and fatigue are a real pain in the ass, but I deal with it. Stay away from the caffeine, it helps.
It will be one year on October 17th that I was diagnosed with PC. I went through all the testing and I had a gleason score of (10) and my PSA was 147.7....I`m 45 years old and I fell flat on my face when I got the results. They couldn`t do surgery because they said that it will do more damage then good. So I started on the hormone shots last November and I get them every four months for the next 2 years three all together. I started Radiation treatment in February and finished up in April. I went back in July for my next PSA test in July and it was 0.12...awesome...That was GREAT news. I go back in November for my next set of tests, CT, BS, and MRI..Hopefully everything will come back for the good. Its been a very scary and a wake up call on life this last past year..You definitely have to talk with people and your partner..You do have those quiet times when your by yourself and your head is spinning, about everything.....Talk with people itis a must...
Question?? Can you have surgery to remove the cancer after you had radiation treatment?
Good luck to everybody.My PRAYERS go out to you all.
My urologist was very clear that I would not be able to achieve an erection after surgery and might possibly have some level of incontinence. It so stunned my wife that she did extensive research on every treatment option available and found that Proton Therapy (bet you never heard of it or your doctor pooh poohed it) produced the best results as far as sparing nerves. We traveled to Florida for treatment. However, there are centers across the country. One year later I am continent and sexually functioning. BTW, my cancer was agressive (Gleason 8). My last PSA was 0.5. I am cancer free and I thank my wife everytime I talk to a man who chose another surgery.
I'm not sure that thsi article was very helpful BUT it serves its purpose, men with PC need to be open with what they have and communicate with their Dr, partner and family. Women have all types of cancer and are able to dicuss the issue. Most men want to close the door and have little or any discussion on the subject. The most important thing is to be ALIVE, the rest you have alternatives.
Believe you get out of your doctor what you ask, at least to certain extent. In other words, if your physician is not able to relate to you per your needs, simply fire the physician and find a suitable doctor able to work with your concerns. Doctors are there for us, not for themselves. My husband and I went thru surgery within a month of his prostate cancer diagnosis (high PSA count at age 49) not knowing how severe the cancer was in his body. He came out of surgery with what we were told was some damage to nerves. He has suffered psychologically from the surgery "loss", but 7 years later remains cancer free. Our doctor was extremely open with multiple options and time frames we had before a final decision was needed. He was great at offereing possible scenarios and outcomes whether good or bad, such as: with surgery we didn't know if it was in his bones already until surgery was completed. Having just completed cancer and radiation treatment myself, your doctor makes all the difference in the world, just like a teacher does for your child. If you are not getting what you need, find another doctor that is willing to take the time and effort to assist you at this crucial time -- for you and for your family members. Best of luck to anyone faced with cancer; do what is needed to survive which may include educating your doctor to needs of the patient.
I had one side nerve sparing surgery in 99 and shown a movie on how to get an erection with viagara and a pump. I used that for a long time but finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it. I know there are better treatments but i was never offered any. My sex life is missing in action as the pump-viagara is more work than a full time job.
This blog from Sheryl could cross out the word prostate and substitute any organ name. It is an example of the most unfortunate way that the damaging results of cancer treatment on sexuality is handled. The sad fact is that most cancer surgeons and oncologists don't reveal the extent of sexual dysfunction likely to occur in the informed consent process. Most have little knowledge and even less comfort in discussing sexuality. And prostate cancer sexual consequences have an abundance of research in comparison to other cancers. (It brought out Cialis and Levitra.) Human sexuality is not taught in medical schools, per se. Maybe a four-hour presentation.
Wendy- I realize that it is not easy to address everyone's concerns about specific treatment on the blog. The idea is to start a discussion on this important topic. Please do take a look at our link to the Prostate Cancer Guide below which offers a decision guide approach to each treatment type. This may provide answers to a few of your questions regarding treatment options.
I had daVinci surgery in July. Since then I have been using Viagra (50mg) and Levitra (10mg) twice a week at night (when they work best). This has helped the nerves and blood vessels to recover. I am not at 100%, but I am improving very well. BUT, this works for me, personally, after advice from my doctor. Ask your doctor before you try anything. I hope this helps anyone who needs an option.
I agree with Steve. Most urologists and other doctors involved with treating PC are very reluctant to discuss the real issues with honest and thought provoking information involving sexual dysfunction after any type Prostate Cancer treatment regimen. They tend to be very evasive with non specific answers. I personally chose to have Eligard hormone injections before finally choosing Brachytherapy seed implant treatment. This was a HUGE MISTAKE and I would tell any man not to ever consider Eligard injections except as a last resort if the cancer has spread into the lymph system and bone. I suffered every known side effect known to occur from the Eligard injections to include PERMENANT loss of testosterone production by my testes. My testosterone levels were in the 25 range and normal is 300 to 1200. This of course had a direct effect on my libido and sexual performance. I also had a complete loss of muscle mass even with exercise and weight training. I suffered from severe hot flashes day and night, fatigue, breast enlargement, weight gain even with restricted plant based diet and real loss of bone density. Just recently within the past few years the medical establishment has reversed their opinion about offering Testosterone replacement therapy to prostate cancer survivors and I have recently started Testosterone injections with astounding results. Every PC survivor should talk with their doctor about a Testosterone blood test and possible treatment if low.
When I saw the headline for this article I thought that there was going to be a well written article offering some real advice on how to pursue each treatment. Instead, it's just anyone generic piece that offers nothing new or helpful.
She makes it sounds like we're shopping for a pair of jeans. Truth is all current options are way less then ideal. That's why the profession passes the treatment decisions to patients. But hang in there guys. There's lots of research going on.
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