No long-term sexual side effects after radiation therapy: Study

Updated: Jan 07, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: American scientists have claimed
that sexual function does not continuously decline after
radiation therapy treatments for prostate cancer.

In a first of its kind study, researchers led by a team
from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
in Philadelphia, found that sexual function in prostate cancer
patients receiving external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
decreases within the first two years after treatment but then

Senior author Richard Valicenti said, "the strongest
predictor of sexual function after treatment was sexual
function before treatment and the only statistically
significant decrease in function occurred in the first two
years after treatment after which it stabilised with no
significant changes thereafter".

"Treatment-related side effects, especially sexual
function, have a significant effect on a patient`s quality of
life and satisfaction with their overall outcome," Valicenti

He said, "The results of this study allow patients and
their partners to have a fuller understanding of the long-term
sexual side effects of EBRT and what they can expect after
treatment, which should aid in deciding on a treatment

According to the study published in the International
Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology & Physics, changes in
sexual function are some of the more common side effects from
prostate cancer treatments, but the degree to which EBRT
affects function varies widely.