Cancer Council is calling on men affected by prostate cancer to take part in a global study assessing the sexual health concerns of survivors, helping improve life after treatment.
Research shows one-third of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer have unmet sexuality and sexual health needs following treatment. Specifically, rates of erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer survivors are 10 to 15 times higher than their age-matched peers without cancer.
Griffith University’s Professor Suzanne Chambers said treatments for prostate cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy had negative effects on men’s sexual functioning.
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“Many men are reluctant to get help for their sexual concerns, including erectile dysfunction – and when they do, men don’t tend to continue with treatment. To date, there is little research to help us understand men’s concerns about their sexual health after prostate cancer, and how they prefer to address these concerns.
“We’re asking for men, anywhere in the world, who are over 18 and have started or received treatment for prostate cancer to take part in our online survey. The results will provide new information about men’s decisions to seek help for impacts on their sexual function, satisfaction, and quality of life after prostate cancer treatment. From here, we can tailor follow-up treatment, support and resources to help men address their sexual concerns.”
Around 4000 Queensland men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and about 640 men die from the disease. Research shows up to 85 per cent of men experience erectile dysfunction up to 17 years after treatment, but few seek help to cope.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift encouraged Queenslanders with any questions about prostate cancer support to call Cancer Council’s 13 11 20. “Men with prostate cancer, and their family and friends, are encouraged to call 13 11 20 for advice, support or referral to support groups or specialised cancer counselling,” Ms Clift said. “We encourage those affected to talk to one of our qualified health professionals for information, support, advice, and emotional assistance.”
The Men and Sexual Health Prostate Cancer Study is a joint Cancer Council Queensland and Griffith University project. Men aged over 18, anywhere in the world, who have started or received prostate cancer treatment can take part in the survey via menandprostatecancer.org.