Erectile dysfunction info lacking for men with colorectal cancer

MEN undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer may be poorly served with information about the subsequent risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), researchers say.

A British team who found 75% prevalence of ED in a study of male bowel cancer patients followed up 28 of them to examine in depth their post-surgery experience. Many of the men (aged 34–80 years) were unprepared for ED and most found the diagnosis profoundly stressful, with one contemplating suicide.

“Unlike patients with prostate cancer, men with colorectal cancer are not routinely offered information and treatment for erectile dysfunction,” the researchers said. They found ED “challenged the men’s identity, affected mental and physical health and undermined relationships”.