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Male issues post treatment

ejn58
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2010

This is my first post and I want to start by saying Thank you to all of you that share on this site. It has helped me make sense of what was going on with me post treatment and I know that I am not as alone as I was feeling.
I am a 52 year old male 8 months past treatment. I had two rounds of 5FU and Mitomycin along with 30 radiation sessions. (sound familiar?) I have all the bowel issues and again, this site has helped alot.
One thing I haven't seen discussed is erectile issues post treatment. As in can't get an erection. Is this common and does it improve with time? Thanks for the support.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1310
Joined: May 2009

Hello, and welcome, I am unable to help you with the ?. There are males on this discussion group so hopefully they will answer you. I know on the correctol board there are men with ed, and I believe they too had the radiation. Maybe if you do a search for ed on the whole CSN boards you will find some answers. Lori

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I am glad you posted your question. It is nice to have a man on the board. I get bored sometimes and the other day was surfing many anal cancer sites and it seems as if I read about men having this sexual issue. Women certainly have sexual issues post treatment and it just makes sense that men would too. I hope you find your answer. Please check in again.

Brian21030
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2015

Ejn58, its been 5 years for you and I'm wondering how things are going?  I'm a 58 year old and three years out and cancer free with identical chemo and radiation treatment.  I also had prostate issues so I had a TURP before the cancer Dx.  I've had ED since the treatment and have wondered aobut what to do for it...  I'd be grateful for advice in this regard from you or any other man who faces this issue.

Thanks in advance,

Brian

 

Ouch_Ouch_Ouch
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2014

For my radiation-related gynecological issues, I was sent to see an oncological gynecologist. As a corollary, there must be oncological urologists who have the expertise to treat men who have had radiation, no?

LaCh
Posts: 558
Joined: Dec 2012

IMRT and directed focus irradiation is very misleading. If you receive your radiation treatments in a below-street-level radiotherapy facility (like I did), and you receive your radiation behind meter-thick lead doors (like I did) to protect the rest of humanity that's in close proximity to the radiation, it's a good bet that not only are all the tissues around the tumor site being irradiated, your entire body is as well, otherwise, there'd be no need to lock you inside a lead-lined room. Doctor's need to be more forthcoming about the possible problems a patient might have post-treatment, and let the patient decide if it's worth it. It's the patient's decision, not the doctors', and if the patient isn't told of all the possible effects that might effect quality of life, that doctor is doing worse than not serving the interests of his patient. In my opinion, it borders on unethical. To deliberately withhold information isn't ethical. It forces a patient to make a decision that isn't an informed one.  ED is nothing to sneeze at. It just isn't. It's a quality of life issue. It has more than just physical ramifications; there are other facets to it as well. My guess is that in addition to having our anal tumors irradiated, we've all been irradiated from head to toe.  Maybe the best way to evaluate it is to say, "If I knew that I'd be unable to get an erection but the trade-off was to be rid of the tumor, and if I knew these things beforehand, would I have had the treatment anyway." Because one must face the possibility that there may be no remedy for it, just as there may be no remedy for the  fatigue, the digestion issues and the myriad of other things that come from what is, in effect, a pretty barbaric treatment delivered to a human body.  

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 994
Joined: Jun 2013

Unfortunatelly radiation and chemo has great effects on the radiated area and the entire body in both genders. Both treatments kill the glands that are responsible for producing bodily fluids so men may have decresed semen and women vaginal dryness. The treatment also messes up the nerves so the sensation and other functions suffer. And we are not even talking about the mental toll of cancer that also has negative effects on sexual function.

I myself also had a major surgery to remove my rectum with the cancer and the nerves and muscles responsible for sexual functions run alongside this area. I have decresed sexual function as well, but can menage with ED medication. Talk to your urologist and make sure you are physically well for these medications. This medication is also expensive and not covered by insurance most of the time, but if your doctor writes to the insurance company you may get some coverage. I feel really bad for female survivals, because for men its only lack of function, but for females it can be a lot of discomfort and even pain.

I hope this helps,

Laz

Ouch_Ouch_Ouch
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2014

I love how you begin each message with "Dear Friend". You must be a great person to know.

mxperry220
Posts: 404
Joined: Mar 2011

I seldom have any sexual drive post treatment.  I am 6 1/2 years post treatment.  My oncologist advised me that the radiation had "zapped" my prostate during treatment and that I had very little prostate left.  A couple of years ago my colorectal surgeon was examining me and I asked him to check my prostate and he asked if I had my prostate excised.  I told him what my oncologist said.  If I do have an ejaculation it is mostly a "dry" ejaculation( no sperm) mainly a clear type liquid.  I am nearly 65 years old.  I have accepted this as my new norm.  Hope this helps some.

Mike

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 994
Joined: Jun 2013

...about the possibility of erectile problems relatad to both radiation and surgery. I didn't care then and it would nit change my treatment of choice now. Thank god mediacationd helps me. I don't want any kids, but would have been nice if the doctors asked us if we want to freeze some sperm. This could be impoetant to younger patients. They should have also asked me if I wanted to give blood before, incase needed it during my 10 hour surgery. Nothing like homegrown, right?

Well, I am a doctir too and we still have lot to learn.

Laz

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