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J Sex Med. 2010 Apr;7(4 Pt 1):1488-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01461.x. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

The prevalence of erectile dysfunction in post-treatment colorectal cancer patients and their interests in seeking treatment: a cross-sectional survey in the west-midlands.

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1
School of Medicine, College of Medical & Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a recognized complication of colorectal cancer treatment, particularly if surgery is below the recto-sigmoid junction (RSJ), and is an important quality-of-life issue. Previous studies have generated inconsistent prevalence estimates.

AIM:

We aimed to establish the prevalence of ED in postsurgery colorectal cancer patients and to establish what proportion wished to seek treatment.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Questionnaire: sociodemographics, treatment methods, International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-5 questionnaire (validated tool to assess erectile function): score of <21 being used to define ED.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional survey.

INCLUSION CRITERIA:

adult male colorectal cancer patients diagnosed in 2000-2007, treated with curative intent in one teaching hospital.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

logistic regression analysis to determine predictors of ED.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 46% (229/499). Respondents were aged 28 to 95 years; the majority were white (93.9%), more than half (57.1%) were in a sexual relationship, only a third reported having sex in the past 6 months (33.3%). The vast majority (75.1%; 172/229) of responders had ED as defined by the IIEF-5. ED was significantly associated with increasing age (P < 0.0005), having a malignancy below the RSJ (P = 0.002), having previous radiotherapy (P = 0.007), and having a stoma (P = 0.014). Those with ED were less likely to be in a sexual relationship (P = 0.002) and less likely to have had sex in the last 6 months (P < 0.0005). Only 29% of those with ED were not interested in treatment for their condition.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest a prevalence rate of ED of 75% in colorectal cancer survivors; this may be functional or psychological in origin. Quality of life may be improved if follow-up clinics for cancer survivors not only concentrated on the detection of recurrence but also offered assessment of erectile function and referral for patients who desire treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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