Preventing ED during Prostate Cancer Treatment
Patient Question: Does The Use Of Viagra During IMRT (Radiation) For Prostate Cancer Help To Preserve Blood Flow To Nerves Responsible For Penile Erections?
Answer: Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is defined as the recurrent inability to achieve or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse and commonly associated with other co-morbid conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and smoking. There are a variety of medications used to treat ED. Viagra is one of the medications often used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). This medication produces smooth muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the penis in order to aid in the achievement of an erection. Intensity – Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is one option used in the treatment of Prostate Cancer. It is an advanced form of radiation which uses 3D technology to deliver individual beams of radiation to the Prostate. As a result of any radiation treatment to the Prostate some men will develop ED or have worsening symptoms of sexual dysfunction. In theory, increased blood flow to the penis caused by Viagra or other ED medications, would help to preserve function during IMRT therapy. There have been no specific medical studies that addressed this specific question however there are many studies that show increased use of ED medications, a pump, injections or Muse during the treatment of prostate cancer all help with long term function.