The effect of erectile dysfunction on quality of life following treatment for localized prostate cancer
All forms of prostate cancer therapy carry significant risk of erectile dysfunction, but patients value sexual function so highly that they are often willing to choose a therapy that offers a shorter life expectancy but better potency following treatment. Advances in research methodology now allow reliable collection of meaningful data regarding patients' health-related quality of life, including both objective evaluation of patients' functional status and their perceptions of their own health and its impact on their existence. In the past decade, several validated and reliable questionnaires have been developed that are specifically designed to measure HRQOL in men with prostate cancer. Studies using these instruments have found that function and perceived bother may not be correlated; patients may express satisfaction with their therapy despite loss of sexual function. Erectile aids, including sildenafil, can be helpful for patients following treatment for localized prostate cancer.