Sexual function and male cancer
Quality of life in general and sexual functioning in particular have become very important in cancer patients. Biological factors such as anatomic alterations, physiological changes and secondary effect of medical interventions may preclude normal sexual functioning even when sexual desire is intact. In spite of modern surgical techniques, improved chemotherapeutical drugs and sophisticated radiation techniques, still many patients complain of impaired sexual function after cancer treatment. A large number of instruments already exist to assess quality of life in cancer patients. It is important to standardize procedures and to use validated questionnaires. Collecting data on an ongoing basis before and long after treatment is mandatory, and control groups must be used. Patients should be offered sexual counselling and informed about the availability of therapies for sexual dysfunctions. In this paper we review the topic of sexual functioning after treatment (predominantly after radiotherapy) of the most common malignancies in men and give suggestions for treatment.