Prostate cancer in its early stages is hard to spot — it’s largely dependent on where the cancer is growing. Common symptoms include burning or pain during urination, difficulty urinating, more frequent and an urgent need to urinate throughout the night, loss of bladder control, and blood in the urine, to name a few.
Being diagnosed with cancer is never an easy pill to swallow and it can affect all areas of your life. One of those areas is sex, and many men experience drastic changes to their sex life after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The three main areas of a man’s sex life that become affected by a cancer diagnosis include the mind, the body, and the relationship itself.
Some men who have early stages of cancer, or who’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, are more anxious and their feelings toward sex change. They may not discuss sex anymore and put it off entirely.
Undergoing cancer treatment can damage nerves and limit blood supply, which is needed for an erection. You may lose your sexual desire, have a difficult time developing or maintaining an erection, or even lose some sensation. To fix this, your doctor may put you on hormone replacement therapy.
You may not seek out a sexual partner, or you may have difficulties communicating your fears and anxieties with your current partner, which can result in tension in the relationship.
The good news is that these issues can be resolved simply by opening up and speaking to someone. That someone can be your doctor, therapist, and above all, your partner. By bottling in these issues, you aren’t able to work through them, causing them to get worse over time.
Men over the age of 50 should be screened for prostate cancer, especially if they have a family history of it.
Advances in prostate cancer treatment have more men living longer lives, which means you don’t have to let the diagnosis stop you from enjoying sex. It just takes some communication to get past any issues.
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