Prostate cancer radiation may not hurt sex

Jan. 8, 2010 at 1:00 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Sexual function in prostate cancer patients receiving beam radiation decreases within the first two years and then stabilizes, U.S. researchers found.

Researchers at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and University of California, Davis, School of Medicine evaluated 143 prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy who completed baseline data on sexual function before treatment and at follow-up visits.

Senior author Dr. Richard Valicenti of the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, said patients were analyzed on sexual drive, erectile function, ejaculatory function and overall satisfaction for a median time of about four years.

The study authors found the strongest predictor of sexual function after treatment was sexual function before treatment and the only statistically significant decrease in function occurred in the first two years after treatment -- and function then stabilized with no significant changes thereafter.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

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