Treating the psychosocial and emotional impact of prostate cancer

15 Jul


It doesn’t take too much reading or direct experience to realize that, to date, we haven’t been very good at meeting the needs of patients with prostate cancer — or their spouses/partners — when it comes to the sociocultural and psychological needs associated with this disorder. Here are just a few of the more obvious reasons:

  • The primary treaters of prostate cancer (urologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists) have little to no training and/or experience in this field.
  • The often profound sexual side effects of treatment for prostate cancer are embarrassing for many patients and their spouses/partners, and thus difficult (and sometimes impossible)  to admit to and talk about — even to each other, let alone to a third party.
  • The ability to “perform well” sexually in a traditional sense is a defining characteristic of “being a man” in the minds of a large percentage of the world’s male population…

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Another journalist writes about HIS diagnosis with Stage IV prostate cancer

19 May

I like Scott’s writing very much, and look forward to reading more. Gutsy and courageous.


Scott Monserud is the sports editor for The Denver Post in Denver, CO. In the first of a series of articles entitled “Help, and Hope: A Cancer Journal” he writes about his own personal experience. Click here to get his tale.

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Kaiser reports on quality of life outcomes after first-line treatment for prostate cancer

8 May

As always, good information, easy to read. In my ideal world, every man dealing with prostate issues would be guided to this website


Kaiser Permanente maintains a large data registry in  order to assess the quality of outcomes over time among tens of thousands of Kaiser patients, prostate cancer patients included.

In the current study, by Chien et al., Kaiser used their prostate cancer database to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of men with prostate cancer at up to 24 months after treatment. The population included > 5,500 men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer between March 2011 and January 2014. All patients were asked to complete the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC-26) questionnaire prior to treatment, and then at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after treatment through November 2014 for all methods of treatment.

Here is what the authors report:

  • The study included 5,727 newly diagnosed patients.
  • Evaluable data were collected from
    • 3,422 patients at diagnosis and prior to treatment
    • 2,329 patients at 1 month post-treatment
    • 2,017…

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Sexual rehabilitation after surgical treatment for localized prostate cancer: nine formal recommendations

20 Mar


Two recent articles by Salonia et al. (from the Fourth International Consultation for Sexual Medicine or ICSM 2015) have provided us with a series of nine recommendations to clinicians regarding sexual rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer.

The nine recommendations are listed below, in order:

  1. Clinicians should discuss the occurrence of post-surgical erectile dysfunction (temporary or permanent) with every candidate for radical prostatectomy.
  2. Validated instruments for assessing erectile function recovery such as the International Index of Erectile Function and Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite questionnaires are available to monitor recovery of erectile function after radical prostatectomy
  3. There is insufficient evidence that a specific surgical technique (open vs laparoscopic vs robot-assisted radical prostatectomy) promotes better results in postoperative recovery of erectile function.
  4. Recognized predictors of recovery of erectile function include but are not limited to younger age, preoperative erectile function, and bilateral nerve-sparing surgery.
  5. Patients should be informed about…

View original post 384 more words

Optimizing the quality of one’s sex life after prostate cancer therapy

17 Nov

Wish I had access to all of this information 10 years ago. Particularly, about using a vacuum device as a recovery technique. Had I started that earlier, maybe I wouldn’t have needed an implant. However it works well.
Communication essential, invaluable. Honesty necessary.


There’s an interesting article on the Medscape web site this month on the subject of sexual health after prostate cancer.

This relatively short article (by Kate O’Rourke) gets into the details about what men and their partners really need to be doing if they want to optimize the quality of their sex lives after a man has been treated for prostate cancer. In particular, it focuses on the fact that something like 75 percent of patients have unresolved sexual problems 5 years after diagnosis and that there are a lot of things that can be done to help with this … if the patient and/or his partner are willing and able to talk about the issue.

The ability to discuss the problem may, however, be one of the critical defining issues. The quality of a couple’s sex life is rarely defined just by the ability of the man to have…

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3 Jan

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