Physical activity and sexual functioning after radiotherapy for prostate cancer: Beneficial effects for patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy

Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA.
Urology (Impact Factor: 2.19). 06/2005; 65(5):953-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2004.11.029
Source: PubMed


To evaluate, in a cross-sectional study, the relationships among physical activity, sexual functioning, and treatment type for 111 men who had undergone radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer within the past 18 months. Physical activity preserves the sexual functioning capacity of older men. However, little information exists regarding the association of physical activity with sexual functioning after treatment for localized prostate cancer.
We tested the main effects of physical activity and treatment procedure, as well as their interaction, using hierarchical regression analysis. We hypothesized that greater physical activity would relate to better reported sexual functioning and that this relationship would be moderated by the type of medical treatment.
After controlling for age, medical comorbidity, fatigue, and urinary and bowel functioning, more physical activity was significantly associated with better sexual functioning, and the interaction of physical activity and treatment procedure added a significant amount of explained variance. Overall, 35% of the variance in sexual functioning was accounted for by the model. Post hoc tests of moderation revealed that men who underwent external beam radiotherapy had significantly greater sexual functioning scores as physical activity increased but the effect of physical activity on sexual function after brachytherapy and combination therapy was nonsignificant.
Physical activity was positively correlated with sexual functioning for those who underwent external beam radiotherapy. These relationships should be replicated and explored in a larger, longitudinal sample 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.

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    • "Since erectile dysfunction is a common problem following radical prostatectomy and the influence of physical activities on the erectile function of PCa patients is mostly unknown [30], the International Index of Erectile Function will be included as an assessment method for erectile dysfunction. The questionnaire comprises 15 questions that determine the effects that a patients erection problems have had on his sex life over the past four weeks [31,32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although treatment regimen have improved in the last few years, prostate cancer patients following a radical prostatectomy still experience severe disease- and treatment-related side effects, including urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and psychological issues. Despite high incidence rates and the common adverse effects there is a lack of supportive measures for male patients and specific physical exercise recommendations for prostate cancer patients during rehabilitation or in the aftercare are still missing. The ProRehab Project aims to establish rehabilitative sports groups particularly for prostate cancer patients and to evaluate the effects of the offered exercise program. Starting 8-12 weeks after prostatectomy or combination therapy, prostate cancer patients will exercise for 15 months within a patient preference randomized controlled trial. One exercise session will be conducted within a pre-established rehabilitative sports group, while the other will be completed independently. Patients in the control group will not participate in the intervention. The main outcomes of the study include aerobic fitness, quality of life, incontinence and erectile dysfunction. By combining science, practice, and public relations the first rehabilitative sports groups for prostate cancer patients in Germany have been set up and thus contribute to the care structure for prostate cancer patients. By offering a 15-month physical exercise intervention that is conducted in supervised group sessions, long-term lifestyle changes and therefore improvements in quality of life in prostate cancer patients can be expected. German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00004184.
    BMC Cancer 07/2012; 12:312. DOI:10.1186/1471-2407-12-312 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "Higher levels of physical activity and muscle strength may enhance men's ability to regain and manage urinary and bowel symptoms and improve erectile function. A cross-sectional study [9] reported that for men who received external beam radiation therapy within the past 18 months, levels of physical activity were positively associated with sexual functioning. Wolin (2009) [10] found lower incontinence in prostate cancer survivors who were normal weight and physically active compared to survivors who were obese and sedentary. "
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