Erectile Dysfunction - The Number One Concern In Men Fighting Prostate Cancer - Dr. David Samadi

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According to the online journal Asiaone Health, a recent survey found men with prostate cancer living in Singapore suffer from extreme apprehension over the underlying prospect of possible erectile dysfunction. Dr. David Samadi explains why most men, no matter where they live, have the same concern.

Prostate Cancer ; Dr. David Samadi; Erectile Dysfunction; Sexual Problems

Prostate Cancer and Sexual Problems - Dr. David Samadi

All men, no matter where they live, deserve to be better informed about their bodies and to know they are not alone in dealing with a difficult diagnosis

Men living in Singapore dealing with prostate cancer diagnosis are gripped with tremendous fear and angst. Their apprehension was revealed on Asiaone Health last week based on a recent survey where six advanced-staged prostate cancer patients, age 66 to 85 years were interviewed along with six caregivers and doctors. It was found that this uneasiness stems from the underlying prospect of possible erectile dysfunction (ED) putting an end to their sex life.

“The findings from this survey are not surprising,” states Dr. David Samadi. “Just about any man is going to have distress when told they have prostate cancer. There’s the obvious anxiety over surviving the cancer but right after that their thoughts immediately goes to their ability to achieve an erection.”

It is this discontent of not being able to maintain normal sexual relations that is preventing men in Singapore seeking medical help when faced with a diagnosis of the third most common cancer of men in this country. By delaying treatment, it may be too late for some if cancer has metastasized to other organs of the body.

The time lapse from the time of diagnosis to when it actually gets treated is what is especially concerning for doctors. If caught and treated at an early stage, prostate cancer survivability looks far better than if a man waits too long to where the tumor has grown to a more advanced stage making treatment more difficult.

For most men, prostate cancer symptoms are not apparent in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms may be different for each man and any one of the symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Because the prostate gland is in close proximity to the bladder and urethra, symptoms relating to urinary issues are often present. Some of the symptoms may include frequent urges to urinate during the night, difficulty starting a urine flow, burning or pain during urination and blood in the urine. It’s not until the advanced stages when prostate cancer has spread do more obvious symptoms become noticeable to a man – anemia, lethargy, weight loss, bone pain, or loss of appetite.

“This is why all men need to be educated on knowing the signs and symptoms of possible prostate issues. Don’t ignore them,” warned Dr. Samadi. “Any urinary changes warrant a trip to a urologist to have checked out. It may or may not be prostate cancer related but unless a man makes an appointment to find out what’s going on, it’s not a good idea to stick your head in the sand hoping the symptoms will go away.”

Because many men in Singapore do not seek treatment for prostate cancer until the more advanced stages, it shows they are in denial of diagnosis. This is a normal process each man goes through during a stressful life event. Consultation with experts in the field can help the patient and the patient’s family cope with the new situation. Although, some prostate cancer is known to grow very slowly, others grow at a more aggressive rate. It is not evident which type of cancer a person has unless being seen and followed up in a prostate cancer center.

What was confessed by the men in the survey was over their anxiety of confiding in their loved ones not only about the cancer itself but also on how how to talk about ED and issues of incontinence that could happen to them. They found it extremely troubling to take about ED even with their spouse.

There is poor rate of attendance of the few support groups for patients dealing with prostate cancer fin Singapore. The reluctance of being able to open up and simply talk about fears and concerns seem to be a driving force in preventing men from attending any support group meetings. “How it will affect their ability to be intimate with their partner is a definite concern but they also harbor concerns over how the cancer will be treated,” said Dr. Samadi. “In a recent survey of patients with prostate cancer, only 66% of patients had accurate information about their disease.”

Prostate cancer diagnosed at an early stage offers the patient the options of surgical removal by robotic surgery with minimal chances of urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. When the cancer has developed to an advanced stage, treatment options may include hormonal therapy, medical therapy, chemotherapy or palliative external beam radiotherapy.

“All men, no matter where they live, deserve to be better informed about their bodies and to know they are not alone in dealing with a difficult diagnosis,” said Dr. Samadi. “Education is key. The more prostate cancer is talked about, the more comfortable they become in opening up about it. When they understand the risk factors like having a family history of the disease and the necessity of going for regular yearly checkups starting at age of 40 for a PSA test and rectal exam, the less they have to fear and the more likely their sex life will be minimally if at all affected.”

Patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer can contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist, Dr. David Samadi, for a free phone consultation and to learn more about prostate cancer risk, call 212-365-5000.

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