Prostate Cancer: Sexual Implications and Navigating Counselling Within a Partnership

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Keen, Rebecca
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This literature review will explore the effects of a diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer resulting in impotency or sexual dysfunction on males and females individually or in partnership and consider different coping strategies that may be beneficial for the couple. The effects of prostate cancer are widespread. Having a diagnosis of cancer for anyone is daunting. Prostate cancer and treatment for it carry a high risk for impotency. In many forms of cancer it would be automatic that one would commence treatment as soon as possible. Due to the high incidence of impotency or sexual dysfunction, this factor plays an important role in the decision making process as to whether to treat the cancer or wait until it must be treated due to accelerated growth of the cancerous tumour. Waiting for the tumour to grow before treatment carries the risk of waiting too long and the cancer may then be terminal. Once a diagnosis is confirmed the couple may be at a loss as to how to proceed. This literature review will explore coping skills that may be beneficial to the client and his partner to more easily move through the process of diagnosis and after treatment if this has resulted in impotency. It is my hope that this thesis will be used as a tool to help couples develop skills they may not have to ease the transition and go on to have a satisfying life.
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