Prostate is the most common cancer in UK men, accounting for around a quarter of all new diagnoses. Around 41,000 men were diagnosed in 2011, meaning that, on average, there were about 110 men diagnosed every day. Diagnoses have tripled over the last 35 years and, though this is largely due to improvements in screening, it is still a cause for concern. Prostate cancer is the second highest cause of death for men with any type of cancer.
Experts and and studies suggest that risk factors for developing the condition include age, genetics, ethnicity and and possibly certain lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) may not be something you've thought about in relation to cancer, but the fact is that some treatments for prostate cancer can interfere with sexual function. It is quite common for men who have had treatment to experience erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems. This can lead to anxiety and stress for some men with regards to their libido or ability to perform after they have received treatment. Worrying about your health can also affect your desire for sex. Some men even end up avoiding sexual activity altogether due to both physical and emotional reasons.
If you have suffered at all post-treatment and feel that you might be in need of help, then do go and get it. Speaking to your partner is always a good first step in dealing with erectile dysfunction, and it may even resolve the situation if the problem is caused by anxiety or any other psychological factor. If that isn't working, there are always alternatives available in the form of professional help and treatments for erectile dysfunction. There are various prescription medications available that have helped millions of men across the world to successfully treat ED.
Often the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction is psychological, and your doctor may also suggest you try counselling or make lifestyle changes in order to improve the situation. Having said that, if you have developed ED following treatment or surgery for prostate cancer the cause may be physical, in which case your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
In the past, countless men were too embarrassed or afraid to seek help for either prostate or sexual problems. In recent years there had been a drive by charities and organisations such as Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness about men's health and encourage all men to speak out. With ongoing research and advances in treatment, the chances are the condition you are worried about will be manageable with the right advice, so please do voice your concerns to your doctor rather than suffering in silence.