Being French and addressing the issues of sex and prostate cancer


Apparently the French are willing to address some of the realities of sexual function and prostate cancer treatment head on in their scientific literature. Here are a series of clear observations from a recent review article written in French.

According to Colson et al.:

  • “All treatments of prostate cancer have a negative effect on both sexuality and male fertility.”
  • Effects on sexual function, urinary continence, bowel function, and vitality vary according to the treatment modality chosen.
  • Maintenance of a satisfying sex life is a key concern of a majority of men facing prostate cancer and its treatment.
  • Assessment of a couple’s sexual interests and priorities is imperative if health professionals are to deliver complete information and to consider early and appropriate treatment options.
  • Non-penetrative forms of sexual activity may be an alternative sufficient to maintain intimacy and satisfaction for some couples if erectile function is not regained.
  • Specific management options can offer satisfactory sexual function post-treatment (but not for all patients).
  • The impact of treatment on male fertility should be part of the information provided to all patients with prostate cancer and their partners.
  • The choice of treatment must take into account the desire of the couple to have further children (if relevant).
  • A semen analysis with sperm cryopreservation prior to any therapy should be routinely offered in men with prostate cancer, particularly for those men under 55, with a partner under 43 years old or without children.
  • For couples who seek further children post-treatment for prostate cancer, sperm cryopreservation before treatment and medical assisted reproduction are recommended.

How many US-based prostate cancer patients under 65 years of age do you think are getting this level of clarity from their treating physicians … let alone the patients older than 65?

Vive La France!

2 Responses

  1. Makes me proud to be of French descent! Based on my experiences, American doctors have much to learn.

  2. Despite an excellent urologist, I had to bring up the issue of banking sperm. I banked sperm and counsel all younger men to consider this option.

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