His father's prostate cancer changed tennis legend John McEnroe, who turned 50 in February. McEnroe used to have at least one thing in common with ordinary guys: He rarely saw a doctor or gave his own health a lot of thought. That all changed five years ago, when his dad, now 74, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"It really raised my awareness level," says the four-time U.S. Open champ. He scheduled his first prostate-specific antigen test -- a screening test for prostate cancer that's also called...
When, if ever, is something going to be done for the unfortunates like me who suffer from impotence and incontinence after prostate surgery? If I had it to do over, you can bet your life I'd say no. Quality of life is more important than quantity.
I agree, quality of life is absolutely important. Every treatment has potential complications, but the number of complications [with prostate surgery] is decreasing. We're seeing fewer and fewer people with these problems.
There are a number of treatments for impotence. There's a vacuum constriction device, injections of the drug alprostodil, an inflatable penile prosthesis -- available treatments that are well accepted and time-tested. There are also a number of drugs in the pipeline, which show promise -- drugs that are longer-acting and quicker-acting than Viagra.
For incontinence, we can do collagen injections; insertion of artificial urinary sphincters is also a possibility. Again, these are time-tested and well accepted treatments. -- J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, chair of urology at the University of Kansas in Kansas City.
I am a prostate cancer survivor. Based on what I now know, it appears that I did not have the nerve-sparing type of surgery. After 22 months I still don't have complete bladder control and no response to Viagra. Is it possible for those nerves to be regenerated or repaired? My internist has me taking vitamins C and E to help. Are they effective in this area?
It's very unlikely that you will have recovery of function after 22 months. Most recoveries happen in the first year. Late regeneration of nerves is possible but remote. And there's no way to do a correction. [See the previous answer for options.] -- J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, chair of urology at the University of Kansas in Kansas City.