Sexual dysfunction – too often ignored

Today I got a very nice email from one of my support group friends. Within it, he quoted one of the heads of another support group who had written about this “under the radar problem”. What he said in part is quoted below:

Urologists and Radiation Oncologists, and for that matter Medical
Oncologists when ADT medications are prescribed, are, for the most part,
guilty of a great injustice in not fully explaining to both the patient AND
his spouse the effects the intended treatment procedure is likely to have on
incontinence and/or, even more importantly, impotence.  They need to know up
front, not after-the-fact, what to expect.  These are NOT minor
considerations.  They are extremely MAJOR and require either the physician
or a trained staff member to be open, honest, and forthright in explaining
what will likely occur subsequent to the treatment procedure.  When men are
confronted with their impotence, way too many go into a shell of
embarrassment and a feeling of complete inadequacy as a man.  They too often
tend to shun their spouse/partner because of that feeling of being “less a
man,” leaving that spouse/partner confused, concerned, and experiencing both
a loss in knowing what to do as well as also feeling less loved and
inadequate.  This is HUGELY IMPORTANT.  

I could not agree more. Fortunately, there are some resources out there that go into far more detail than I can do on this blog. One that was included in the email is here. There is also a recent scientific article discussing ways to deal with ED after prostatectomy or radiation here. I think the main point is that if you are suffering from this problem there are things that can be done, and I completely agree that treating physicians need to learn how to be better counselors in this area, including me!

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