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Impotency common after prostate cancer treatment: Australian study

11-11-2010 13:41 BJT

SYDNEY, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Sexual performance problems were almost certain after receiving treatments for prostate cancer, according to a five-year study on Australian prostate cancer patients released on Wednesday.

"Impotence is a common side-effect of prostate cancer treatment, along with incontinence," said epidemiologist David Smith, the study leader from Cancer Council New South Wales (NSW) on Wednesday.

Smith said, "Our study shows that for conventional prostate cancer treatments - with the exception of low-dose brachytherapy - patients experience high levels of impotence which is still evident after five years."

One treatment, known as androgen deprivation therapy, saw 94 percent of patients who received it report they were impotent two years later, and this increased to 97 percent after five years.

Radical prostatectomy, or external beam therapy, or a combination of these two treatments, led to impotency problems for 70 to 80 percent of patients over the years.

Nerve sparing surgery improved outcomes slightly, but only low- dose-rate brachytherapy had relatively low levels of impotence, with 38 percent impotent after two years rising to 43 percent after five years.

The five-year study assessed impotency rates across more than 1600 prostate cancer patients and 500 healthy control subjects.

The research was presented on Wednesday at the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia's (COSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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