Monday, August 24, 2015

Men with prostate cancer least likely to treat their erectile dysfunction

I recently came across a study that researched the medical records of six million men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. The results were alarming, 75% of the men diagnosed with ED did not seek treatment. Here's a link to a discussion of this study:
Why Men Refuse to treat their ED

What caught my eye was the dismal statistics for men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer.  
"When Helfand looked to see what bearing other health conditions might have had on treatment, he found those with prostate cancer were least likely to be treated. Only 15 percent were."

This means 85% of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer who develop ED will NOT get treatment for their erectile dysfunction.

Unfortunately the study didn't address the reasons for these dismal statistics but as a man with prostate cancer coping with ED I can make some educated guesses as to why this is so. Here are a few reasons why men resist/refuse to treat their erectile dysfunction.

1. Embarrassment- Many men are so ashamed of their ED they won't even discuss this with their                                       partner. If a man is controlled by the emotions of shame or embarrassment they
                                  won't seek treatment.

2. Anger and/or       Many men, especially those with double nerve sparing surgery expected to
    Betrayal                recover their erectile dysfunction. When that doesn't happen these men feel
                                  betrayed. They decide not to trust another physician. They make a vow they
                                  won't go within a mile of another doctor.

3. Expensive ED      This group of men go the pharmacy and receive sticker shock. They discover
   Medication            their insurance leaves them with a bill of $80 or more for 4 pills that may or.
                                  or may not work. They decide the medication is too expensive.

4. Men Don't Ask    Women are much more likely to visit a doctor than men. If you are one of those
    For Help               guys who refuse to ask for directions when you're lost how likely is it you'll go
                                   to a doctor for medical advice?  Not very likely at all.

If you are one of those men suffering from ED as a result of prostate cancer I urge you to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss treating your ED. Unfortunately, neither pills or penile injections worked for me. Since I did not want to live with impotence for the rest of my life I sought out another option.

 I decided to trust another surgeon in order to have penile implant surgery. When your impotence is caused by prostate cancer or the treatment of prostate cancer most, insurance companies pay for this procedure. Both my wife and I are delighted with the results and the restoration of my erectile functioning. We couldn't be happier with this decision. Implant surgery is not the right decision for every man coping with ED. There is something I can say that applies to every man who hates living with impotence:
Do the manly thing. Make an appointment with your doctor, surgeon or urologist to discuss treatment options for your erectile dysfunction. 

Rick Redner and his wife Brenda are the authors of an awarding winning book written to help men and couples cope with life without a prostate. I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours?
Coping With The Emotional, Relational, Spiritual & Sexual Aspects of  Prostate Cancer
 can  be previewed and purchased at