Prostate cancer treatments frequently have the side effect of erectile dysfunction (ED). It can be caused by a number of factors, including surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy. These treatments can damage nerves and blood vessels that are essential for achieving and maintaining an erection. In this blog, we will explore the different prostate cancer treatments that can cause ED, and the options available to manage this side effect.
Prostate Cancer and Its Treatments
The prostate gland, which is situated in front of the rectum and beneath the bladder, is where the prostate is a form of cancer that develops. It is the second most prevalent type of cancer among males overall. The treatment options for prostate cancer depend on the stage of the cancer and the individual’s overall health.
Surgery is a common treatment for prostate cancer, especially for early-stage cancer. The most common surgical procedure for prostate cancer is radical prostatectomy, which involves the removal of the entire prostate gland. During this procedure, the surgeon may also remove some of the surrounding lymph nodes.
In radiation therapy, high-energy X-rays are utilized to kill cancer cells. It can be delivered externally, from a machine outside the body, or internally, using radioactive seeds implanted into the prostate gland. Radiation therapy is commonly used for localized prostate cancer.
Also, there are many forms of radiotherapy, such as high dose rate brachytherapy, permanent seed brachytherapy, and external beam radiotherapy. External beam radiotherapy concentrates radiation from the outside of the body on the prostate. Little radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate during permanent seed brachytherapy and remain there permanently. With high dose rate brachytherapy, thin tubes are inserted into the prostate and a source of radiation is transmitted via them into the prostate. But in this instance, the tubes are taken out after the radiation treatment has killed the cancer cells
Cryotherapy and HIFU
In cryotherapy, extreme cold is used to destroy cancer cells. And in HIFU or high intensity focused ultrasound therapy, high frequency ultrasound wave is used to destroy cancer cells.
Hormone therapy is used to block the production of testosterone, which can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. This treatment is often used for advanced prostate cancer or as adjuvant therapy in combination with other treatments.
Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatments
While prostate cancer treatments are designed to cure or control the cancer, they can also cause a range of side effects. The most common side effects of prostate cancer treatments include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes
- Loss of libido
In this blog, we will focus on erectile dysfunction, which is one of the most distressing side effects for men undergoing prostate cancer treatments.
Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Cancer Treatments
The inability to obtain or sustain an erection strong enough for sexual activity is known as erectile dysfunction. It is a common side effect of prostate cancer treatments, and it can have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life. For a man, it’s important to know what causes Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a range of factors, including damage to nerves and blood vessels that are essential for achieving and maintaining an erection. A lot of men suffer from ED caused by prostate cancer treatments.
Radical prostatectomy can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are essential for achieving an erection. The nerves that control the erectile function are located on either side of the prostate gland, and they are very delicate. Even with the most skilled surgeons, there is a risk of damage to these nerves during surgery.
The risk of erectile dysfunction after surgery depends on several factors, including the age of the patient, the extent of the cancer, and the presence of pre-existing erectile dysfunction. Studies have shown that up to 80% of men experience some degree of erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy.
Radiation therapy can damage the blood vessels and nerves that are essential for achieving an erection. The risk of erectile dysfunction after radiation therapy depends on several factors, including the dose of radiation, the duration of treatment, and the patient’s overall health. Studies have shown that up to 50% of men experience some degree of erectile dysfunction after radiation therapy.
Hormone therapy can cause a range of side effects, including erectile dysfunction. Testosterone is essential for achieving and maintaining an erection, and hormone therapy reduces the production of testosterone. Studies have shown that up to 70% of men experience some degree of erectile dysfunction after starting hormone therapy.
Management of Erectile Dysfunction
There are several options available to manage erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatments. These options include
Oral medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), are commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. These drugs function by boosting the flow of blood to the penis, which might aid in obtaining and maintaining an erection. They are often taken an hour to two before engaging in sexual activity.
Oral medications are generally safe and effective, but they may not work for everyone. They can also cause side effects, such as headaches, flushing, and upset stomach. Men taking nitrate medications for heart disease should not take oral medications for erectile dysfunction, as this can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
Penile injections involve injecting a medication directly into the penis, which can help achieve and maintain an erection. The most commonly used medication for penile injections is alprostadil (Caverject), which works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis and increasing blood flow.
Penile injections can be effective for men who do not respond to oral medications or other Erectile Dysfunction treatment. However, they do require self-injection, which can be difficult for some men. They can also cause side effects, such as pain or scarring at the injection site.
Penile implants are devices that are surgically implanted into the penis to help achieve and maintain an erection. Inflatable and semi-rigid penile implants are the two varieties.
Inflatable implants consist of two cylinders that are surgically implanted into the penis, a pump that is implanted in the scrotum, and a reservoir that is implanted in the abdomen. To achieve an erection, the man pumps fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders, which creates an erection. To deflate the implant, the man presses a release valve on the pump.
Semi-rigid implants consist of two rods that are surgically implanted into the penis. The rods can be bent up for sex and then bent down when not in use.
Penile implants can be effective for men who do not respond to other treatments for erectile dysfunction. They are usually considered a last resort, as they require surgery and can be expensive. They can also cause side effects, such as infection or mechanical failure. To avoid infection doctors usually prescribe antibiotics after the surgery. Inflatable implant typically lasts for 12 years. But some time it needs to be changed in about 5 or 6 years later. Semi-rigid implants however don’t require to be changed.
Vacuum devices, also known as vacuum pumps for Erectile Dysfunction, are devices that use suction to draw blood into the penis, which can help achieve an erection. The man places a cylinder over the penis and pumps air out of the cylinder, which creates a vacuum and draws blood into the penis.
Vacuum devices can be effective for some men, but they can be cumbersome and require some coordination. They can also cause side effects, such as bruising or numbness.
Shockwave therapy for ED caused by prostate cancer treatments is turning out to be a very viable treatment option. The use of low intensity shockwaves in this therapy, however, is believed to have the potential to stimulate the creation of new blood vessels in the penis by improving blood flow to the region and encouraging the release of growth factors. The shockwaves may also assist in removing plaque that has accumulated in the penis’ blood veins, which could enhance blood flow and erectile performance. Thus shockwave therapy for prostate cancer survivors who are suffering ED, could be a very effective treatment option.
EMTT therapy are being used to treat various kinds of diseases. But the recent researches suggest that Electromagnetic Transduction Therapy (EMTT) has shown a lot of promise in beating Erectile Dysfunction as well. According to Mansmatters, a leading men’s health clinic across entire Europe, for many persons dealing with erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems, the utilization of this cutting-edge advanced therapeutic technology in combination with other contemporary technologies like Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, NanoVi, and Tesla Chair could be a “game changer.”
The Tesla Chair, a revolutionary new piece of medical equipment, uses functional magnetic stimulation. The painless Tesla Chair delivers a magnetic field intensity of up to 1.7 TESLA that stimulates the targeted deep muscle structures. This activates the body’s motor nerve system, which then causes the muscles to contract, growing bigger, stronger, and tighter as a result. And it does it without really touching the skin thanks to this unique device. The patient sits in the Tesla Chair while fully clothed, even though it delivers strong electromagnetic pulses to the pelvic area.
Counseling can be helpful for men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatments. Counseling can help address psychological factors that may be contributing to the problem, such as anxiety or depression. It can also help improve communication with a partner and address relationship issues.
Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of prostate cancer treatments, but there are options available to manage this problem. Oral medications, penile injections, penile implants, vacuum devices, and counseling can all be effective for some men. It is important for men to talk to their doctor about the treatment options available to them and to discuss the potential benefits and risks of each option. With the right treatment, men can still enjoy a fulfilling sex life after prostate cancer treatments.
If anyone is suffering from ED caused by prostate cancer surgery or other treatments, then he should seek medical attention from reputable health clinics. One such reputable men’s health clinic is Shockwave Clinics Ltd . It is the leading non-invasive treatment provider for ED, PD or other sexual issues in the Europe.
Shockwave Clinics Ltd is a medical practice located in Richmond, London that specializes in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction. Their Mansmatters program offers a range of treatments for conditions such Erectile Dysfunction (ED), Peyronie’s Disease (PD), Prostatitis (pelvic pain syndrome) (CPPS) and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BBH). The clinic uses state-of-the-art shockwave therapy technology to treat these conditions, which is a non-invasive and highly effective treatment option. Shockwave Clinics Ltd also provides a comprehensive assessment process to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment for their individual needs. With a team of highly trained medical professionals and a focus on patient comfort and care, Shockwave Clinics Ltd is a leading provider of male sexual dysfunction treatment in London.