There are many articles that look in various ways at sexual potency after treatment for prostate cancer. In one of my favorite articles to give to patients on their satisfaction with results, it would appear that most men are impotent immediately after surgery but about 50% regain function by two years. The results with radiation therapy are similar, although the kinetics are different – slow loss of function down to about 50% at two years. A new article has appeared this week in JAMA that looks at more sophisticated ways of predicting outcomes. As we know, your age and your health condition (plus of course how good erections are going into treatment) are predictive of outcomes. It seems to remain a 50/50 proposition in general. Here is a quote from the new article:
Pretreatment sexual HRQOL score, age, serum prostate-specific antigen level, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and intended treatment details were associated with functional erections 2 years after treatment. Multivariable logistic regression models predicting erectile function estimated 2-year function probabilities from as low as 10% or less to as high as 70% or greater depending on the individual’s pretreatment patient characteristics and treatment details.