There’s no better news than being told that you’re now cancer free. Advancement in medical technology has seen hundreds of thousands of cancer patients beat the various forms of cancer. While this is great, there are a few other cancer-related issues that we ignore or perhaps overlook.
One such related issue is the onset of erectile dysfunction, ED, in prostate cancer patients. Cancer itself is bad enough and even after beating it, these patients now have to deal with the embarrassing ED condition.
Support for ED Lacking
According to reports by the Freedom of Information Act by Prostate Cancer UK, there are thousands of prostate cancer survivors who have been left alone without any support to help them cope with with the ED that was caused by prostate cancer.
As reported by the charity, when the National Health Service fails to address the ED problem, these cancer survivors are left at risk of long-term physical and psychological damage. Interested parties have said that national care for patients with erection problems is very insufficient and needs more attention and resources.
Common Side Effect of Prostate Cancer Treatment
ED is one of the most common side effect caused by prostate cancer treatment and affects about 76% of men receiving treatment for the disease. The good thing is that ED it is often treatable when the right care is provided.
Unfortunately, only about 13% of local health commissioners in the UK give the desired treatment and services to treat ED to men living with this very challenging condition.
These numbers match those of a survey that involved 500 suffering from ED as a result of prostate cancer treatment. About 24% (1 in 4) of the men involved in the study reported having received no support or medication to help them deal with the condition.
Medical practitioners at the Prostate Cancer UK note that early support and treatment is very important in treating ED after prostate cancer. Otherwise, the lack of support and treatment leads to devastated men who can no longer achieve or maintain an erection. This then leads to depression.
Relationship Between ED and Prostate Cancer Treatments
Whether the treatment was through surgery or radiation therapy, almost all prostate cancer survivors will suffer from some form of ED during the first few months after treatment. This could be mild or acute ED. The cause of this side effect is because the blood vessels and nerves that help a man get an erection are very delicate, and any sort of trauma to this area will affect them.
Luckily, the nerves and blood vessels in nearly all patients improve significantly within one-year post treatment.
There are oral medications to treat ED including Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These drugs help to relax the penile muscles and encourage rapid blood flow. The drugs are quite effective and can start working after about an hour. Nearly 75% of men treated using nerve-sparing prostatectomy or radiation therapy are said to have successfully achieved erections after using these oral drugs.
Cancer survivors don’t have to suffer from depression due to a condition that is clearly manageable if not treatable. All we have to do is offer them the necessary care and treatment and they will continue to live healthy and satisfying lives!