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Male bowel cancer patients need more information about erectile dysfunction, experts say

Date:
October 20, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Male bowel cancer patients are very likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction after treatment and yet the majority are not receiving adequate information about the condition, according to a new study.

Male bowel cancer patients are very likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) after treatment and yet the majority are not receiving adequate information about the condition, according to a study published online in the British Medical Journal.

Bowel cancer affects over 38,000 people every year in the UK with around half of patients surviving for more than five years after treatment. This figure is set to increase, says the study. Men are more likely to develop bowel cancer and many will suffer from ED after their treatment, say the authors, led by Professor Sue Wilson at the University of Birmingham.

The research team carried out a series of in-depth interviews with 28 patients in the West Midlands who had been treated for bowel cancer.

Most of the respondents experienced ED as a result of their treatment. Yet many had been uninformed and unprepared for it. Almost none were receiving adequate, effective and affordable care for the condition.

The interview results also reveal evidence of ageism among health professionals -- several respondents said their doctor or stoma nurse said ED would not matter to a patient of their age.

The authors conclude that information and treatment for ED are not routinely offered to male bowel cancer patients, as they are for prostate cancer patients. They add that "the wide diversity of this patient group calls for greater coordination of care and consistent strategies to tackle unmet needs."

In an accompanying editorial, Larissa Temple, a colorectal surgeon at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, says the study would have benefited from examples of men who had been successfully treated for erectile dysfunction so that effective systems could be identified.

Temple adds that the role of the partner merits analysis and that "this is probably an important component of sexual rehabilitation for men with colorectal cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. G. Dowswell, T. Ismail, S. Greenfield, S. Clifford, B. Hancock, S. Wilson. Men's experience of erectile dysfunction after treatment for colorectal cancer: qualitative interview study. BMJ, 2011; 343 (oct18 1): d5824 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d5824
  2. L. K. F. Temple. Erectile dysfunction after treatment for colorectal cancer. BMJ, 2011; 343 (oct18 1): d6366 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d6366

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Male bowel cancer patients need more information about erectile dysfunction, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025654.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, October 20). Male bowel cancer patients need more information about erectile dysfunction, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025654.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Male bowel cancer patients need more information about erectile dysfunction, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020025654.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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