Exercise helps sex life after prostate radiation

Men treated with external beam radiation therapy for Prostate cancer may find their sex life affected, but physical activity seems to make the problem less likely, according to new research.

Physical activity preserves the sexual functioning of older men, the authors point out in the medical journal Urology, but whether it influences sexual functioning after treatment for Prostate cancer is unknown.

To investigate, Dr. Jason R. Dahn and colleagues from University of Miami looked at treatment procedures, physical activity, and sexual functioning in 111 men with localized prostate cancer who were treated with radiotherapy.

Overall, physical activity was independently related to sexual functioning, the team found.

The association was especially strong among men who received external beam radiation, whereas physical activity did not significantly affect sexual functioning among men who received radioactive seed implants or combination treatment.

Dahn and colleagues say the issue should be explored in a larger, forward-looking study “to ascertain whether the effects of physical activity in this at-risk population extend over time and protect men from treatment-related decrements in sexual functioning.

SOURCE: Urology, May 2005.

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Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.