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Male Sexual Health After Cancer

Male Sexual Health After Cancer

One of the most non skin cancer that has overtaken lung cancer as a leading cancer that is affecting men by far has to be prostate cancer. The cancer affects 88% of men over the age of 65 and can occur in younger individuals but it's rare. As males age, the cancer becomes a problem and it's therefore imperative for males to know their sexual overall condition after being diagnosed with any type of cancer related diseases. Every year, one out of six males in America will have developed it and a chilling factor to all this is that males have a 33% chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer related issues than a woman is to get cancer related to her breast. Over 230,000 cases were reported in the United States last year making it a common ailment among men. There are over 30,000 expected deaths that are prostate related making it lethal than skin cancer.

What is Prostate?

Prostate is a male size gland that is located behind the pubic bone in front of the rectum and has a size of nearly a walnut. At birth, the gland is small and continues to grow until the man reaches 20 years old. The gland size does not change thereafter until the male reaches 45 years. Its primary role is to produce thick fluids that nourishes the sperm as well as helping the sperm navigate through the penis to reach and fertilize an egg. The Prostate gland may not necessarily be a primary part of the urine tract but none the less it can play an imperative role in the urinary physical condition of men.

What Exactly is Cancer?

The human body is made up of different types of cells and these cells sometimes mutate and begin to grow at an abnormal pace and instead of these cells dying, they clump together to form tumors. These malignant tumors invade and kill healthy tissues in the body. These tumors help cells to metastasize therefore creating more tumors in different parts of the body. Therefore, it is safe to say that this cancer is abnormal cells that grow out of control thereby forming small bumps or nodules on the outer part of the glands. As the glands are close to the bladder, they may interfere with urination and make the sexual condition of a man after being diagnosed become dysfunctional making the nerves responsible for the erections. Doctors recommend that every man over the age of 55 undergoes a PSA test and a rectal exam. African Americans have a higher chance of getting diagnosed with this type of cancer than their Caucasian counterparts and therefore they should get tested earlier preferably at 40.

What are the Symptoms?

The thing that is baffling is that it does not show any indication for years and when the signs appear, the cancerous cells have spread beyond the prostate. The signs include not being able to urinate, having a hard time stopping the flow of urine, discomfort when ejaculating, pains in the sexual organs, body fluids in the semen such as blood and many others.

Who are at Risk?

More than 80% of cases have been males over the age of 65 and it's safe to say that males who are aged between 50 and 55 are at risk of being diagnosed. African Americans also have a higher chance of getting this diagnosis than white or Hispanic males and it is more common in North America and Northwestern Europe. Family history should also be considered because it appears that genes also play a role in developing the risks of being diagnosed. Finally, males who have undergone vasectomy may have an increased risk.

Men's Sexual Health After Cancer

There are some impacts that affect the men’s sexual health after cancer, for examples being having less interest in sex, not being able to have an erection, orgasm problems being that one will take long before achieving orgasm and finally having premature ejaculation problems which may include having an orgasm without any semen or with urine instead of semen. Other impacts may include less sex drive and less sexual sensation.

Sexuality After Cancer

Sexuality involves more than sex itself; it will include the physical, psychological, emotional and social aspects of sex. This means how men who have undergone cancer view themselves as well as how their partners view them. Is it possible to date after getting cancer treatment? How can one deal with the needs of sexual relationships after cancer? These are some of the questions that arise after men have had cancer treatments.

How cancer affects sexuality defers from person to person. Some men will get the support they crave from their healthcare team, partners, friends and fellow survivors. A support group also helps men connect with their sexuality after surviving cancer and can help individuals talk about their concerns with these groups in order to find a way forward.

There are others who might find the going difficult and it's therefore imperative to find a mental health provider who will help you cope with the emotional and physical trauma one is facing. A therapist who is full of expertise will help the men move forward from the troubling tides and help them move on.

The emotional effects of cancer may contribute to a number of survivors feeling anxious, depressed or self-conscious. This can also create stress for the partner and will therefore present challenges with sexual functioning. A licensed mental health professional is needed to deal with these types of emotions is always welcomed. The healthcare team ought to help cancer survivors learn more about treating concerns and improve the ability to have sex again. Even survivors who no longer have sex are able to find ways to continue to enjoy affection and closeness with their partners. All is not lost.

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