A new study shows how important it is for men to carefully consider treatments for early-stage prostate cancer. Fifteen years after surgery or radiation treatment, nearly all of the older men in the study had some problems having sex.
About one-fifth had bladder or bowel trouble, researchers found.
The study doesn’t compare these men — who were 70 to 89 at the end of the study — to others who did not treat their cancers or to older men without the disease. At least one study suggests that half that age group has sexual problems even when healthy.
The study isn’t a rigorous test of surgery and radiation, but it is the longest follow-up of some men who chose those treatments.
Since early prostate cancers usually don’t prove fatal — but there are no good ways to tell which ones really need treatment — men must be realistic about side effects they might suffer, said one study leader, Dr. David Penson of Vanderbilt University.
“They need to look at these findings and say, ‘Oh my gosh, no matter what I choose, I’m going to have some quality-of-life effect and it’s probably greater than my doctor is telling me,’” he said.
The study appears today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.
In the United States alone, there were about 240,000 new cases and 28,000 deaths from the disease last year.
Get daily headlines to your inbox
Start your day with our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.
The reality: That is not true, said Dr. Richard Koller, a Bend neurologist. A sneeze does increase the pressure inside the skull a little bit, he said. People have worried that sneezes may kill brain cells because other things that increase pressure on the brain, such as some types of stroke, can lead to brain cell death or even the death of the person. However,…
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…
Q: The last few weeks, when I do a load of laundry, the water that is discharged smells like rotten eggs. I don’t think the odor is coming up from the drain, because that doesn’t smell. I have always cleaned the machine according to the recommendations, but when I do this now, it doesn’t help. Subsequent loads don’t trigger this smell, just the first load.…
Two years ago, Erin Matlock spent six months trying different medications to control her newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis. Some didn't work very well, others were too expensive. The 37-year-old elementary school teacher from Redmond finally settled on a drug called Asacol, an effective therapy that her health insurance would cover. But in June, she learned Asacol was being pulled from the market by the manufacturer,…
Brandon Perryman made an everlasting mark on Mountain View’s boys basketball team, though it wasn’t by scoring a ton of points or hauling in a pile of rebounds. As a ninth-grader Brandon showed up for the first day of basketball tryouts not quite 5 feet tall. But he made the freshman team, and in the next two years he earned a spot on the junior…