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Journal of General Practice Nursing (GPN) | December 2021

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Let’s talk about sex

Let’s talk about sex
Prostate cancer

Pages: 14 - 14

Eighty percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will end up with erectile dysfunction after treatment (Downing et al, 2019). Yet, talking about sex, treating erectile dysfunction, and meeting the man’s needs after treatment is often lower down on the healthcare professional’s agenda. Prostate Cancer UK found that sex and erectile dysfunction is the biggest unmet need for men with prostate cancer.

Why is that? Is it because we just want to focus on managing the prostate cancer? Are the urinary problems easier to prepare a patient for and treat? Do we find it difficult to talk about sex? Do we make assumptions that because a man is over a certain age, he won’t be having sex, so we don’t need to talk about it? Do we feel that if we ask how the erections are, we might be opening a can of worms and we just don’t have time in clinic? Do we have our own hang ups about sex, prejudices or cultural beliefs that stop us being able to talk openly about sex?

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