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Some Complain of Shorter Penis After Prostate Cancer Treatment: Study
Date:1/3/2013

had shrunk, as did about 2.7 percent of those who had received male hormone-blocking drugs along with radiation therapy.

In contrast, there were no complaints of shorter penis size among men who had received only radiation therapy from either an external X-ray machine or had radioactive seeds implanted directly into the prostate.

The study authors pointed out that the men's penises were not measured before or after treatment -- the study's results were based on the men's opinions. The men were also not asked about any changes to their penis size. Instead, they brought this perceived problem to their doctor's attention.

The researchers noted that this side effect of prostate cancer treatment is not well-studied and the issue of shorter penis size might be more common than what this study showed.

"Previous studies have concluded that there is shortened penis length following prostatectomy," study co-author Dr. Jim Hu, a surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, said in the news release. "This is most common with non-nerve sparing surgery, as this may result in fibrosis and atrophy of erectile tissue due to damage to nerve and vascular structures."

Dr. Luc Cormier, of Dijon University Hospital in France, wrote an editorial accompanying the study. He noted that men's sexual activity should also be examined since it is closely associated with how they perceive the length of their penis.

The study was published in the January issue of Urology.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides more information on prostate cancer.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, news release, Jan. 2, 2012.


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