Prostate Cancer and Sexual Reproduction Health Prowess

In my practice, I have met with just about every kind of patient imaginable, and many times I just think that life couldn’t throw me any more practical and professional curveballs than I have seen already. But just when I am getting comfortable with my run of the mill patients, someone walks in that totally throws me off balance with either their attitude, or the complicatedness of their disease, or something. As a matter of fact, I have started to be wary now, when things start to get too routine; I begin to watch more carefully as I expect something to jump out of the woodwork and bite me.

Like there was this day when a patient walked into my office, said “Good morning,” sat down, and asked me point blank: “Can a man with cancer of the prostate father a child?” a simple enough question that I am totally sure every man with the disease, and even a lot of men who do not have the malignancy, asks himself on more than one occasion. Come on, with one in every six American men destined to be diagnosed with this carcinoma of the prostate gland at some time in his life, prostate cancer is by no means a rare condition. Being second in line for the highest number of male cancer deaths in the United States, most men even live in dread of the disease. But it was the total primitive directness of the question that caught me off guard.

I am an oncologist, with a practice that has me treating virtually every kind of cancer you can imagine, and I tell you there are indeed some rare cancers; but prostate melanoma is not one of them.

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Its symptoms include pain in urination and pain in sexual intercourse, which eventually turns into bloody discharge in both cases. Because there are no early-stage indicating signs, many men do not even know that they have the disease until it starts to spread. In the advanced phase, prostate cancer causes pain in the bones from the thigh up to the ribs, as well as through the lymphatic system because of the metastasis of the sarcoma.

Advanced stage prostate cancer often results in fecal and urinary incontinence, and in some cases impotence. Naturally, a very aggressive form of cancer of the prostate, though rare, occurs once in a while, and could very easily end up in death. Why, this diseasetakes no less than 20,000 lives in the United States every year; but few people take notice because mostly only the elderly are inflicted with the disease. For the most part, though, a patient’s prostate disease often progresses so slowly that something else could kill the man before the symptoms get him.

It is not the disease itself that is the real worry; it is the treatments. Due to the complexness of the prostate area, there are so many nerves and blood vessels that could easily be nicked or damaged during treatment, often leading to impotence, and sometimes difficulty in getting out the sperm. However, penile sensation and the ability to achieve orgasm are rarely damaged, and with Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra, the patient may restore some degree of potency. But there are no guarantees.

I sighed and looked at my patient, and then I answered him: ‘yes, but…’

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