Prostate Cancer And Sex
Everyone reacts differently to having cancer both physically and emotionally. Many men do not feel like sex during, before and after their treatment for prostate cancer. The majority of people feel very ‘low’ once they have been given a cancer diagnosis and feeling like this is not going to help their sex life. On the other hand, some men have an opposite reaction to their diagnosis by feeling that they should be living life to the full and enjoying their sex life to the utmost. Neither is wrong; it’s just how different men cope in their own particular way.
Whichever way, this disruption to a man’s sexual relationship will be difficult to tolerate. Any man who is suffering with prostate cancer should always try to remember that with time, things should change and they will not know how they will be permanently affected until their treatment has finished and things are getting back to normal. It’s pointless to contemplate a sexual future until all options have been considered and treatment has been completed.
Most side effects from the treatment of prostate cancer are only temporary. For example, the fatigue and diarrhoea which is a side effect of radiotherapy usually begins to wear off in the weeks following the end of a person’s treatment. The effects of this treatment can be wearying, however if it can be tolerated the effects do wear off after the treatment has been completed.
If a man is less interested in sex, it can be due to a number of reasons. These include the effects of an Orchidectomy or hormone treatment. A lowered interest in sex cannot be treated like it usually would be by the use of testosterone injections or patches. This would be counter productive due to some treatments for the prostate cancer being female hormone based. Giving a man the male hormone testosterone would accelerate the growth of the tumor and would negate the effects of the treatment being given.
Changing the treatment itself may be a benefit as a lack of sexual interest is less likely with anti-androgens such as bicalutamide. Therefore any man undergoing treatment should consider discussing their options with their health specialist.
Side effects such as these may be very difficult to live with and how a man looked upon his sex life before diagnosis will play a major role. Whether or not a man has a partner will also determine how he takes to the changes in his sex life.
It is very important that issues such as these are discussed between partners so enable you both to come to terms with the major changes you will face. Its important to remember that a diagnosis of prostate cancer affects a man’s partner as well as himself.
Symptoms which might be a side effect of orchidectomy or hormone therapy may include hot flushes and sweats. These symptoms are usually at their worst when a man has just bean hormone treatment or had their testicles removed, although they can get better as the body adjusts.