Men experiencing erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, and urinary incontinence following treatment for prostate cancer, need not suffer alone and in silence. If oral medications fail, men and their partners need to know that there are other highly effective alternatives. That is the important message Natan Bar-Chama, MD, and Neil H. Grafstein, MD, urologists on the staff of the Deane Prostate Health and Research Center, are hoping to communicate at a free community education seminar scheduled for Tuesday, December 11 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
"At the Deane Center, we are committed to restoring sexual function following prostate cancer treatment," says Dr. Bar-Chama. "Patients need to explore all their options. A treatment that is appropriate and effective for one individual might not be the best approach for another person. But regardless of the severity of the condition or the cause, there is a safe and effective treatment that will enable a man and his partner to resume enjoyable sexual relations." Adds Dr. Grafstein, "There are minimally invasive surgical approaches that restore continence and eliminate the constant worry, fear of embarrassment and need for pads. Men can resume an active lifestyle and feel more confident."
Along with an overview of the causes of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence and a discussion about the emotional impact of ED and incontinence on patients and their partners, Dr. Bar-Chama and Dr. Grafstein will be providing detailed information about a wide range of treatment options. Galen Bird, a prostate cancer survivor, and his wife Linda will also be on hand to tell their very personal story about the impact of ED and incontinence on a marriage and the road they've traveled. A question and answer session will follow the formal presentation.
The seminar, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Goldwurm Auditorium, Icahn Medical Institute, 1425 Madison Avenue, 1st fl. (bet. 98th and 99th Sts.) Registration will begin at 6:00 pm and the program runs from 6:30 − 7:30 pm. Spouses and partners are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.
It is estimated that one in 10 men − or over 30 million men in the U.S. − suffer from erectile dysfunction. And the prevalence is expected to increase as the population ages. According to the Journal of Urology, population projections for men aged 40 to 69 suggest that over 600,000 new cases of erectile dysfunction are expected annually. Erectile dysfunction is also associated with diabetes and hypertension, in addition to treatment for prostate cancer.
The most common cause of stress urinary incontinence − the unintentional release of urine during normal, everyday activities − in men is the partial or total removal of the prostate gland during treatment for prostate cancer, which can damage the bladder's external sphincter muscle that controls urine flow. By 2008, it is estimated that over 207,000 surgeries for prostate cancer will be performed. The incontinence rates following these procedures are estimated to be as high as 31%. Although not life threatening, the condition can be emotionally devastating and have a major impact on quality of life. Even such everyday activities as lifting, light exercise, even sneezing or coughing can lead to fear, embarrassment, despair and shame.