Prostate Cancer History

Dear Saveta: A friend at the office was passing a copy of your newsletter and I notice the Saveta on the Bedpost column.

I am feeling a little self-conscious and anxious to ask any one about something that has been on my mind for a while.

My father died of prostate cancer. Does this mean that I have a greater risk of developing the disease? Secondly, I know a guy at work who received treatment to reduce an enlargement of the prostate. I know for a fact that since receiving treatment he has been experiencing some sexual difficulties. He broken down one day at lunch and confided in me.

I hope my questions are not asking too much. I am overwhelmed with worry about my own health. H.

Dear H: Thank you for taking the time to email an important health question. My condolences about the loss of your Dad.

At present, statistics indicate that there is a 5-10% of incidences of prostrate being hereditary.

I believe however that it is wise and prudent of all men after age 50 to have a complete exam of the prostate including blood tests. If there is a family member already diagnosed in the family.. checks should start after 40 years.

It is also prudent on a monthly basis (usually in the shower) for all men from adolescence onward to examine themselves for any all changes they may notice in their scrotum (sack that holds the testes).

In most cases these steps will put most men to ease because they tend to come back normal but in a small percentage of cases some changes noted and reported can give your doctor ammunition to potentially save your life.

So please speak with your doctor and follow his recommendations to the letter.

Regarding gentleman at work having sexual difficulties after prostate treatment…this problem has decreased significantly with the introduction of new methods of treatment.

I suggest you encourage him to speak to his doctor about whether the sexual difficulties are truly connected to the surgical procedure he experienced.

Many times, it is stress caused by the anticipation of problems due to their prostate procedures that may be the culprit.. and may be more psychosomatic in cause.

Thank you for having the courage to email with a difficult topic.

I am sure it will benefit many of my blog readers.

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