Chicago: A new study addresses one of the most worrying questions faced by men with prostate cancer: What are my chances of losing sexual function after treatment?The answers vary greatly by age, sexual potency before treatment, PSA levels and whether a man has surgery, standard radiation or radioactive seeds, the study found.Using the findings, men can get a rough idea of their personal odds by answering questions that also include weight and race, experts said. Unsurprisingly, older men whose sexual function is already low have the worst chances of good sexual function after treatment."This will make it possible for patients to have a more realistic view of what to expect for themselves, rather than trying to guess where they fit in overall compared to the average guy with prostate cancer," said study co-author Dr. Martin Sanda of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.The federally funded study, appearing in Wednesday`s Journal of the American Medical Association, included only men with early-stage cancers, and it didn`t address cure rates for different treatments. In the real world, some patients have limited treatment choices. For instance, only men with early-stage, slow-growing cancers can choose radioactive pellets.That means the findings may be most useful in giving a realistic picture of the sexual side effects of a treatment that`s already chosen, rather than helping men pick a treatment.
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