Discussing impotence with patients

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Friday 19th June 2020

For many patients, the relief of surviving their treatment or managing their condition can be followed with questions about other aspects of their life. Impotence can be very common after treatment for colorectal cancer; often affecting up to 90% of men following surgery and radiotherapy treatment. Many men do not like to broach this sensitive subject. Therefore, it is essential to ask men about their experience.

GatewayC’s ‘Colorectal – Long-Term Complications’ course includes a full interview with Stephen Booth, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, detailing how to address impotence with patients.

To gauge the extent of the problem, it is important to:

  • Find out what the patient’s erectile function was like pre-treatment
  • Talk honestly to the patient about the quality of their erections now
  • Explore if the patient has experienced any psychological and emotional changes as a result of their erections

Please note: it is important that the patient guides these questions covering the physical and psychological aspects of erectile dysfunction. Erectile function tools can be used to assess the patient pre and post-surgery.

 Find out more:

  • Access GatewayC’s ‘Colorectal Cancer- Long-Term Complications’ course here
  • Read Prostate Cancer UK and Macmilllan’s guide on ‘Treating erectile dysfunction after surgery for pelvic cancers’ here

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