Marcy and I attended the Mid-Year Update conference on Prostate Cancer present in LA by the Prostate Cancer Research Institute. The conference had important information on Active Surveillance, for those who have a lower grade prostate cancer and are just waiting before treating. And more importantly for us was the afternoon session on sexual side effect of prostate cancer and treatments.
One of the primary doctors who put on this conference is one of the partners in the Medical Oncologist office I go to in Marina Del Rey. Its good to know that they are on the leading edge of information and share with us patients.
As far as the conference, I wanted to know more about the sexual side effects of treatments. It is no secret that when you are on hormone therapy, with no testosterone in your system, that you have sexual issues. On top of that, regardless if you get surgery or radiation, long term sexual side effects are not only a risk but a part of making a decision on what treatment you get. I am one of the unlucky souls who will have long term hormone therapy and lots of radiation. I have to work hard on keeping my sexual organs working. The old saying, use it or lose it, is so true. Penile smooth muscle can atrophy and make it difficult to get and keep an erection. I can tell you that is not a good thing! I am so lucky to have Marcy! We not only discuss these issues, we help each other when needed. This is a long term disease for me and I do my best to educate myself on all aspects of it and ensure we are prepared to deal with it.