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Body Image and Sexuality After Treatment for Prostate Cancer

It is normal to experience anger, frustration, or disappointment following treatment for prostate cancer.

Treatment can damage normal tissue and cause side effects, such as bladder problems and erection problems, that can change your quality of life.

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Understanding Prostate Cancer -- the Basics

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. It makes most of the semen that carries sperm. The walnut-sized gland is located beneath the bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. Prostate cancer is a major health concern for American men. The disease is rare before age 50, and experts believe that most elderly men have traces of it. In 2013, about 238,500 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S., and about 29,700 will die...

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It is not unusual to feel confusion, anxiety, guilt, stress, or depression because of the changes in your body. These psychological factors are often most troublesome after treatment ends.

Often the stress of being diagnosed with cancer and the treatment that follows can cause stress in other areas of your life. This stress can cause problems within your sexual relationships. Men who do not have partners often stop dating altogether because they feel that a potential partner might reject them because of their history of cancer.

These problems are not unusual and can be solved. Your doctor can refer you to organizations that can offer support and information. Talk openly about your concerns with your partner. If you are having problems being intimate with your partner, discuss this with your doctor. You may also contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to help you find a support group. Talking with other people who may have had similar feelings can be very helpful.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
Last Revised June 21, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 21, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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