What Is Erectile Dysfunction, And What Are The Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction Related To Prostate Cancer?

Dr. James Mohler answers the question: 'Erectile Dysfunction & Prostate Cancer?'

Jan. 01, 2009 -- Question: What is erectile dysfunction, and what are the causes of erectile dysfunction related to prostate cancer?

Answer: Prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction as a result of treatments that men receive for prostate cancer.

First, if you choose to have your prostate removed -- called a radical prostatectomy -- the nerves that pass within 3 millimeters of the prostate may be injured or even divided as part of the operation resulting in ED.

Radiation therapy by a completely mechanism can cause ED. The radiation therapy damages the blood vessels and consequently the nerves that supply the penis and over a long period of time and superimposed by the process of aging, men receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer can develop erectile dysfunction.

And finally, men with advanced prostate cancer often receive hormonal therapy or what I prefer to call androgen deprivation therapy or ADT. ADT causes you to lose libido as a result of a decrease in the testosterone, the circulating hormone produced by the testicles, and its impact on your brain function.