Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. As any other type of cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. This means that any cells in the body can become cancer cells and can spread to any part of the body. This post will enlighten you on what this type of cancer is, how it affects your sex life and intimacy.
What is Prostate Cancer?
This is the type of cancer is marked by uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate gland. The prostate gland produces seminal fluid that transports sperms. It is located below the bladders and surrounds the urethra. During its first stages, the cancer is usually confined to the prostate gland and doesn’t pose great danger. However, there are others that spread quickly and need treatment fast. According to Cancer Research UK, there are 47,700 new cases of this cancer in the UK every year. This means that at least 130 men are diagnosed with this cancer every day. The most frequent question people ask is who is the most vulnerable? The risks of cancer increases as you get older. Research also shows that black men are at a higher risk of this cancer than white men. How Curable is it? Just like any other type of cancer, the earlier the cancer is caught, the more likely the patient will be cured after the treatments.
How It Can Affect Your Sex Life?
Men need to understand that this type of cancer can dampen their sex drive. The anxiousness that gets most men after the diagnosis and during the treatment can affect their desire for sex. Additionally, patients undergo hormone therapy, which can affect their libido. Higher testosterone levels generally promote a healthy sex drive. However, as the treatment slows the growth of cancer, so does it lower testosterone levels in the body. Hormone therapy also affects your self-esteem as it makes you gain weight or causes your breast tissues to enlarge. Some men will also notice a slight reduction in penis size after the treatment. However, this change in size is generally 7 half an inch or less. What causes this decrease in size is the shrinking of tissues that happens in the penis. If you undergo a prostatectomy, you will not produce semen. Although you will still be able to feel the muscular spasm and the pleasure that accompanies orgasm, you will not be able to ejaculate. This is what is referred to as a dry orgasm. Some men worry that a dry orgasm is less pleasurable to their partners, and this affects their intimacy.
Erectile dysfunction and solutions?
It is important to understand that this cancer is not often the cause of erectile dysfunction or ED. However, its treatment might cause it. This is because the current treatment methods, including radiation therapy and radical prostatectomy—which completely removes the prostate gland, can cause the problem. Normally, erectile dysfunction begins immediately after the removal of the prostate and the surrounding tissues, whether by brachytherapy or external beam. If you undergo radiation therapy, then the onset of erectile dysfunction could be gradual. In this case, you will notice the problem 2 to 3 years after the treatment. When hormone therapy is used to treat the cancer, ED my occur after 2 to 4 weeks. One of the common solution to recover erectile function is through injectable medication. Alternatively, there are mechanical devices that can restore your erection. In this case, the vacuum constriction device will create an erection by forcing blood into the penis. Surgical Options could also be viable for men who prefer a reliable solution. Surgical options involves a three-pieced surgical inserted penile implant. The implant contains a release button inserted into the testicle. The release button is normally pressed as soon as the erection is desired.
Fertility after treatment
Most common treatments compromise the fertility of the patient. Men treated through surgery or radiation are at a higher risk of infertility. During prostatectomy, the prostate is removed together with the seminal vesicles. They carry semen through the urethra and out of the penis through ejaculation. Consequently, ejaculation may be impossible due to the loss of semen. This means that the sperm will not reach the woman’s egg. Although hormone therapy may cause loss of fertility, the risk is lower than prostatectomy. Fertility issue may only exist during treatment. The ability to produce sperms should be restored soon after the patient has recovered. Patients who undergo radiation therapy may also experience fertility problem. However, in this case, fertility loss depends on the dose of radiation a patient is exposed to. Infertility, in this case, is not permanent, and a patient can return to normal after 5 years. There are fertility options following treatment patients should consider. Sperm banking helps men collect and store their sperm before treatment. Alternatively, sperm can be taken directly out of a patient’s testicles soon after the cancer surgery. It is then used to fertilise the partner of the patient.
How to Talk With Your Partner?
The biggest challenge men with this cancer face is opening up to their partners about what is happening. You can still enjoy life with your partner even after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The first step to cancer treatment is communication. As a result, it is important to talk to your partner at every stage of the disease; from the diagnosis to treatment. Start by thinking about what you want your sex life to yield, and your partner should do the same. You should then discuss your thoughts and how you will make them happen. If there are areas you should compromise, then you need to agree amicably. If you are uncomfortable talking about sex and your relationship, you can either write your thoughts in a letter or call in a third-party you trust and feel comfortable around to intervene. Alternatively, you can seek the services of a relationship counsellor.