GAINESVILLE, Fla. Men with prostate cancer who have their prostate removed cite sexual dysfunction as the most common side effect after surgery, but urinary dysfunction troubles these patients most, reports a University of Florida researcher. Whats more, many arent emotionally prepared to face these complications.
The study findings, published in a recent issue of Urologic Nursing, underscore the need for health-care practitioners to educate their patients about the physical and psychological effects the surgery will have on their everyday lives.
The effects of this treatment are quite immediate and can lead to depression and frustration, said Bryan Weber, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., an assistant professor in the UF College of Nursing and the studys lead author. After an initial diagnosis of prostate cancer, men may be so focused on eradicating the disease that they dont realize the effects the treatment will have on their quality of life, both for them and their families.
Prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer among men, excluding skin cancer, and with more baby boomers reaching their 50s and 60s, its expected to grow even more prevalent, with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed in 2007. Given the various treatment options for prostate cancer, men who undergo radical prostatectomy may initially decide that the risk of physical dysfunction is worth the benefit of improved likelihood of survival. But many dont know what to expect in the months after surgery, Weber said.
Physical side effects of prostate cancer treatment limit daily activities and may interfere with a mans sense of masculinity and self-confidence. Urinary incontinence, for example, requires the use of pads that add considerable bulkiness to clothing and create concern about leakage and odor. Sexual dysfunction interferes with a mans sense of self and may limit the relationship he has with his significant other, Weber said.
In the study, UF researchers evaluated 72
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University of Florida