What is the Connection Between Prostate Cancer and Impotence?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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Prostate cancer and impotence are often connected because of the effects which occur in the prostate during cancer treatment. Impotence, which occurs through erectile dysfunction and the inability to stimulate a physical sexual response, is a common side effect of prostate cancer treatment and can be treated through various medical technological systems. Sometimes erectile dysfunction can directly effect the emotional side of an individual, promoting further treatment with psychological measures. Usually, prostate cancer and impotence will be directly related to each other in most individuals, yet impotence may also be reversible in most individuals.

The connection between prostate cancer and impotence lies in the treatment of prostate cancer itself through various surgeries and other medical treatments. Some treatments involve invasive radiation, such as through chemotherapy or through seed implants. Pain after surgery may exist, strengthening the connection between prostate cancer and impotence. Not all individuals who receive prostate cancer treatment will become impotent, but the majority of men who have prostate cancer and undergo treatment may have at least some form of temporary impotence or long-term erectile dysfunction.


Depending on the severity of the disease and the extent of the effects of treatment, impotence may be harder or easier to cure in some cases. Although prostate cancer and impotence are strongly connected, it does not mean that impotence will last forever or that treatment is impossible. Rather, treatment is seen as a slow but steady process which will help regain the sexual health of an individual and promote a better sense of health overall. Some treatments which help regain sexual health after prostate cancer treatment involve treating the emotional aspects of the condition to help promote confidence in the individual.

Utilizing talk therapies which help a patient fully express their emotions about their disease and their impotence helps clear away emotional blockages that prevent a man from completely healing on all levels. It is desirable that most men who are impotent be honest about their feelings so the frustration and stress do not build up in their system, causing their body further distress. Developing treatments such as medications or even surgeries may help alleviate symptoms of impotence after prostate cancer treatment, yet these work in varying ways depending on the individual. Most of the time, doctors will recommend complete rest for a period of months after prostate cancer treatment to see if the impotence goes away on its own.


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