Prostate cancer itself does not cause Erectile Dysfunction, however, it can be an indicator something is wrong. The treatments for prostate cancer can certainly cause ED, especially surgery.
In fact, that’s one of the big fears for any man who faces the diagnosis.
“When I talked to other guys, I heard horror stories,” says Joe, a prostate cancer patient treated at the CyberKnife Center of Miami. “Doctors took out their prostate or they had too much radiation and now they can’t hold their urine or get erections. There was no way I was going to have my prostate taken out and with standard radiation, treatment would take over two months.”
So, like many patients, Joe looked for an alternative and found one at CyberKnife Miami, a cancer treatment center that uses a state-of-the-art radiation treatment called stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT to treat prostate cancer as well as other types of cancer.
“There’s a general thought among surgeons that surgery is better for men under age 60 because radiation’s long-term effects may cause problems years later, like impotence and incontinence, but that’s not what research is proving,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, CyberKnife Miami’s medical director, board-certified radiation oncologist. “Surgery has long term effects too. CyberKnife has few side effects. Its pinpoint radiation beams hit only the tumor, dissolving it, so we can give a much higher dose with a lot fewer treatments, leaving healthy surrounding tissue unharmed.”
- According to the American Cancer Society, erections are controlled by two bundles of nerves on both sides of the prostate. Surgeons try not to injure these nerves during prostate cancer surgery.
- But if the cancer is close to the nerves or inside of the nerves, they must be removed. If the nerves are removed a man will not be able to have a spontaneous erection, but he may be able to do so with medications or other interventions.
- If the nerves are spared, normal erections may be possible after surgery, but that often depends on a man’s age. In general, most men can expect a decrease in sexual function post-surgery.
- If the ability to have an erection returns, it happens slowly – taking a few months up to two years.
- According to one study, more than 50% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are at risk for erectile dysfunction.
- And according to another study, 85% of patients report troubles with erection following a radical prostatectomy, a procedure that removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissues.
Alternative Prostate Cancer Treatment
According to a 2015 study, of prostate cancer patients treated with CyberKnife, erectile function preservation compared favorably to data following radical prostatectomy, a radiation therapy called brachytherapy or conventional radiation treatments.
- CyberKnife has a 97% cure rate for prostate cancer.
- It’s noninvasive. There is no anesthesia or cutting and it doesn’t come with the risks of surgery like infection and long periods of downtime.
- CyberKnife treatments can be done in five therapy sessions over 10 days instead of 42 over three months with conventional radiation therapy treatments.
- The CyberKnife radiation beams, which target and destroy the tumor, are very precise. That means there is less risk of side effects including impotence and incontinence.
- Side effects of CyberKnife may include tiredness and urinary and rectal irritation. Over-the-counter medications can help minimize these, and symptoms usually go away in a few weeks. Plus, there’s no risk of infection like there is with surgery.
- There is also a lower risk of toxicity than with traditional radiation.
“It’s been 11 years since my treatments. I’m cancer-free and have no complaints. I wish more men knew about CyberKnife. Don’t just do what your doctor tells you, do your homework, learn all your treatment options,” says Joe.
Antonio, another prostate cancer patient treated at CyberKnife Miami agrees. “After watching my two brothers suffer tough side effects following Prostate Cancer surgery, I didn’t want to risk it and instead chose a non-invasive treatment, CyberKnife Radiation Therapy.”
Prostate Cancer Alternative Treatment
At the CyberKnife Center of Miami, we have successfully treated hundreds of prostate cancer patients from South Florida and across the country with excellent results.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, call CyberKnife Miami for a consultation. We can talk to you about all your treatment options and explain why CyberKnife may be a better option for you. We only want what is best for you, whether that is CyberKnife treatment or not.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.