A guest post by urologist Dr. Brent Sharpe of Northeast Georgia Urological Associates.
After cancer treatment is complete, every individual expects life to return to normal. This is no different for prostate cancer survivors. There can be some side effects of prostate cancer treatment that directly affect both patient and partner. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to cure those side effects.
Every year, more than a quarter of a million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men today. If detected early, prostate cancer is usually curable. However, there are shockingly higher prostate cancer mortality rates due to patients forgoing treatment because they have misconceptions of the treatment side effects. Many patients and couples fear that treatment will leave them dealing with long-term incontinence and the inability to be sexually intimate. The fact is most men do not suffer long-term side effects of prostate cancer treatment, and the good news is when side effects do occur they can be CURED.
The subspecialty of prosthetic urology has become increasingly specialized, and there are now more solutions available than ever before. Only about 5% of urologists are highly focused on prosthetics. What’s more, they have special expertise in dealing with the long-term side effects of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
As a prosthetic urologist at Northeast Georgia Urological Associates (NGUA), I specialize in erectile restoration as well as treating male incontinence. Specifically for erectile dysfunction, treatment options can be oral medication, penile medication, nonsurgical devices, or curative surgical options. These options can be tailored to help patients immediately when symptoms of prostate cancer treatment develop. Immediate treatment serves several functions such as restoration of normal function, prevention of long-term side effect and complications, and decreased stress and anxiety for the couple.
Prostate cancer has two mainstay treatments: surgery and radiation. Many men readily chose a surgical option to treat and cure their prostate cancer. However, they suffer in silence or shy away from any further surgical option to cure the effects of the treatment, such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. Specialized surgical options for ED and incontinence have a patient satisfaction rate of 97%. Even better, they can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Specifically at the NGUA urological surgery center, I offer the curative, one-hour procedure in a comfortable, intimate and discreet facility with excellent outcomes at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hospital.
I would strongly encourage patients not to reach a conclusion that ED and urinary incontinence are their fate based on outdated information. Rather, they should seek the advice of a specialized, high-volume, prosthetic urologist. Furthermore, I recommend patients use the same diligence in seeking medical advice to cure the side effects of prostate cancer treatment as they did when they decided how to treat the cancer initially. Finally, no matter how long it has been since your prostate cancer treatment, do not hesitate to seek an opinion about curing the complications of their treatment.
The opinions in this post are those of the author. More information is available from Dr. Sharpe 770-535-0000 (office) or online through www.ngurology.com or www.edcure.org. He will conduct a Feb. 16, 2016 seminar on this subject in Dacula, GA.