December 5, 2022

East Valley Times

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How it affects your sex life and 6 tips to talk about it

One of the concerns that men face Prostate cancer How your sex life can be affected by the disease and its treatment.

Desire, sexual function, relationship with body image, and sense of well-being can be modified by the disease and the treatments used to treat it.

But when faced with an oncological disease, the Sexual intimacy It helps people cope with suffering and treatment.

Since these are issues that still carry the weight of taboos and silences, the ACIAPO Foundation (Comprehensive Social Care for Cancer Patients) chose to look at them in the context of “Moomber”.

“Movember” (from the combination of ‘mustache’ -mustache- and English November -November-) is a month-long campaign designed to raise awareness of major men’s diseases such as prostate cancer and testicles.


Cancer treatment can affect sexuality. Photo Shutterstock.

Prostate cancer and sexuality

“Prostate surgery, X-ray therapy, chemotherapy (except anti-nausea drugs), hormone therapy, and other drugs for prostate cancer can affect a man’s sexual ability, causing physical and emotional changes, including changes in your gender. Life, called Sexual side effects“, explained Tomas Sol, member of the Department of Clinical Oncology at the Alexander Fleming Institute (IAF).

These sexual side effects include: decreased interest in sex, Difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erectionPain during intercourse, premature ejaculation, urination during climax and climax without ejaculation, he said.

Likewise, prostate cancer usually occurs at an advanced age, cardiovascular, vascular and metabolic pathologies (such as diabetes) are more frequent, affecting difficulties in achieving and maintaining an erection, as well as smoking.

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“It’s important to talk to the patient about it before starting treatment Know what to expect You can get information, advice and, if you need it, professional help to better cope with the condition,” explained Sol.

Regardless of what cancer does to the body, the emotions surrounding its diagnosis and treatment can affect a person’s interest in sex and their ability to be with their partner: Fear of the cancer coming backFeeling sad, frustrated, depressed, helpless, or embarrassed about changes in your body.

Emotional impact

“And Sex therapist A psychiatrist who specializes in treating patients with sexual problems can help in these cases Anxiety and stress All these conditions may trigger physical limitations rather than those created by underlying prostate disease,” pointed out Fernando Romanelli, coordinator of ACIAPO programs.

For her part, Marta Artigas, founder and president of ACIAPO, added, “Many times, not only the man with cancer experiences emotions that affect his sex life; Even your partner You’re dealing with the whole situation, and you have to have questions, feelings, and concerns.”

“That’s why talking openly goes a long way in releasing emotional tensions to overcome challenges together,” he opined.

There are generally successful rehabilitation programs.  Photo illustration by Shutterstock.
There are generally successful rehabilitation programs. Photo illustration by Shutterstock.

Talk about sex

Talking to their medical team about the condition can do a lot of good for that person.

Below is a series of recommendations based on content from the American Cancer Society.

1. When to ask

The best time to discuss this topic with your doctor or cancer care team is when decisions about treatment are being made or before starting treatment.

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If this is not possible, or if you do not plan to ask such questions in advance, you can bring it up at any time, but sooner is better.

2. Ask the right questions

Will my treatment affect my sex life? Will the effects be short-lived, long-lasting, or permanent? What can I do about it? Is there a similarly effective treatment with different side effects? Can I see a specialist?

3. Learn as much as possible

If you start the conversation and continue to express yourself, it will be easier to get the information you need. Knowing the answers to the questions you have and knowing what to expect will help you understand what’s to come.

4. If you’re a couple, add it

It’s best to have your partner involved in any decisions about treatments.

The Sexual exchange and emotional intimacy They are ways a couple can feel closer during the stress of illness.

5. Eliminate anxiety about sex

The effects of illness or treatment are expected to threaten spontaneity in intimate relationships. Very important Be transparent To talk about it and see together the best way to create relaxed moments of meeting.

6. Start rehabilitation

These include medically supervised rehabilitation programs Exercises, drugs and other devices And in many cases they succeed.

Generally, the younger the man, the more likely he is to achieve Full recovery. It is recommended that a lot of time does not pass from the onset of the problem to start the rehabilitation process, but it must be agreed with the treating doctor.

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“The most important thing is to overcome the obstacles and talk about it openly, with the couple and with the doctor, to address all doubts, to manage expectations, Seek additional professional help Faced with this new situation, a necessary and collaborative rehabilitation program must be designed to lead a full sexual life,” Artigas concluded.

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Agenda. This Friday, November 25 at 6:00 p.m., ACIAPO – through the Latin American Movement for Prostate Cancer (MOLACAP) – is organizing a webinar on prostate cancer and sexuality, which will be moderated by Tomás Soule from the IAF. It is entered via www.facebook.com/MOLACAP or through Zoom, ID 885 5232 7601, Password 474579.

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Want to learn more about prostate cancer?

These tips may interest you:

➪Prostate Diseases: What are the symptoms after 40 and how are they treated?

➪Prostate Cancer: They worry about less restrictions and warn that it is necessary to start earlier with a history

➪Prostate Cancer: 10 reasons delaying diagnosis

➪Prostate Cancer: 5 reasons to check

➪Prostate Cancer: What is the procedure that helps to improve the quality of life?

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