We were delighted to read the comment by Vasdev et al. . This is an important topic relating to prostate cancer survivorship which is currently unaddressed.
One of the problems survivors encounter post-therapy is psychosexual concerns . These are critical to manage appropriately. With individualised treatment options, survivors may be able to gain a significant improvement in sexual function. In addition, a reduction in quality-of-life is related to sexual dysfunction after completing cancer treatment . A study found that survivors report being significantly concerned about sexual function, yet few seek help for sexual problems .
Men who have undergone radical prostatectomy experience greater stress on relationships than men receiving external beam radiation therapy, perhaps due to the fact that they are younger. Younger men have greater concerns and are more sexually active. In two retrospective cohort studies, men receiving nerve sparing surgery at age 39–54 were more likely than older men and men receiving non-nerve sparing surgery, to report erections firm enough for intercourse [5,6].
NICE guidance on prostate cancer requires sexual dysfunction to be addressed as part of survivorship care, with early access to services post-therapy . Currently, this is not fully addressed in many centres. In addition it has been found that ‘more motivated’ patients experienced greater distress from their sexual dysfunction postoperatively .
Postoperative management of patients who have had radical therapy for prostate cancer should take the patients’ individualised psychosexual concerns into account .
Goonewardene SS*, Young A**, Persad R***
*Guys Hospital, Kings College London, **Warwick Medical School, ***North Bristol NHS Trust
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