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Prostate Cancer Survivors and Partners Want Information on Sexual Recovery

Prostate Cancer Survivors and Partners Want Information on Sexual RecoveryAfter prostate cancer treatment, men and their partners often need guidance on the sexual aspects of recovery. What do they look for? A recent study investigated this question.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems faced by prostate cancer survivors, but it is not the only one. Low sex drive and arousal difficulties are possible. Some men find that their orgasms aren’t as intense as they were before cancer. Many struggle with anxiety and depression.

Partners feel the effects, too. Changes in intimacy, along with adjustments in relationship roles, can be a challenge.

Unfortunately, a man’s cancer care team might not address the sexual effects of treatment. In the study, researchers wanted to learn more about patients’ and partners’ experiences. They also wondered if patients and partners would be open to using online support for sexual problems.

They conducted a series of interviews and focus groups with 14 prostate cancer patients and 10 partners (8 women and 2 men). (Note: The partners were not necessarily in relationships with the patients.)

The patients’ average age was 62 years, with 6 to 36 months passing between their cancer treatment and the study. The partners’ average age was 63 years. Most of the participants had been in committed relationships for a long time – an average of 19 years for the patients and 39.5 years for the partners.

All of the participants filled out validated questionnaires about their sexual function.

After listening to the participants, the researchers identified several themes:

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