Skip to content

    Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Viagra Works for the Long Haul

    Viagra May Be Effective for Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Prostate Cancer Treatment
    By
    WebMD Health News

    Oct. 21, 2003 (Salt Lake City) -- With prostate cancer treatment success often comes at a heavy price: erectile dysfunction. But, a new study shows that Viagra will work in nearly 70% of the men who have radiation-associated erectile dysfunction for years to come.

    Michael Zelefsky, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, N.Y., tells WebMD that the radiation-associated erectile dysfunction usually "begins about six months after [they] have concluded therapy, but it can occur at any time during or after treatment." He says that he has already reported that "about 70% of men initially respond to Viagra. However, [they] didn't know if the response would be durable."

    In the new study, which was presented at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Zelefsky and his colleagues studied the "durability" of response by following 360 men with radiation-induced erectile dysfunction who initially responded to the drug. He followed the group for an average of nearly four years after their surgery to see if they were still taking Viagra for erectile dysfunction.

    The results, he says, were surprising. "I didn't really expect them to still be taking the drug and I expected that for many men the effect would diminish with time." But after almost four years, 96% of the men who initially responded to Viagra were still taking the drug and all but six of those men said the drug was still effective.

    All of the men in the study had prostate cancer that was confined to the prostate gland. They received radiation therapy by either external beam treatment or by brachytherapy, in which radioactive "seeds" implanted in the prostate deliver radiation directly to the tumor.

    The external radiation is done while the patient lies in a special box that allows multiple radiation beams to be directed directly to the prostate gland from all sides, while the rest of the body is protected from the radiation.

    Prostate cancer is mainly found in older men. After prostate cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to determine if it has spread outside the gland. Because there are different treatments available, determining how much the cancer has spread this will help in deciding what treatment is best for the cancer.

    Today on WebMD

    handsome midadult man
    11 tips to protect your erection.
    man and woman on beach
    How much do you know about ED?
     
    stress in bed
    Things that can deflate erections.
    senior couple hugging
    How medications work.
     
    concerned man
    Article
    stress in bed
    Slideshow
     
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    Article
    Mens Body Problem
    Slideshow
     
    bored man
    Article
    Lamm Erections Over Life
    Video
     
    Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
    Article
    senior couple hugging
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections