Sexuality and exercise in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer
- 812 Downloads
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for the management of prostate cancer results in a range of side effects including sexual dysfunction. Exercise is proposed as a potentially effective therapy to counteract changes in sexual function. The current study explored the impact of ADT on men’s sexuality and the effect of exercise on this experience.
Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 men (age = 63.1 ± 3.8) who were on ADT for prostate cancer for ≤12 months and who were part of a pre-existing exercise intervention trial.
Sexual concerns for men included changes in body image, partner relationships, sex drive, sexual performance and masculinity. In coping with these concerns, men described a sense of personal acceptance of sexual changes through a shift in priorities and values away from penetrative sexual intercourse, knowledge and understanding about ADT, and partner support. Exercise in a group-based setting contributed to the acceptance of sexual changes through affirming strength-based aspects of masculinity and peer support.
Exercise appears to have utility as a strategy to assist men to manage the negative impact of ADT on sexuality and masculinity more broadly.
KeywordsProstate Cancer Sexuality Androgen deprivation therapy Exercise Masculinity
SKC is supported by an Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellowship. PC is supported by the Cancer Council Western Australia Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. We would like to thank exercise physiologists Courtney White, Mark Trevaskis and Kelly Vibert
Conflict of interest
- 4.Ng E, Woo HH, Turner S, Leong E, Jackson M, Spry N (2012) The influence of testosterone suppression and recovery on sexual function in men with prostate cancer: observations from a prospective study in men undergoing intermittent androgen suppression. J Urol 187(6):2162–2167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 5.Spry N, Kristjanson L, Hooton B, Hayden L, Neerhut G, Gurney H, Corica T, Korbel E, Weinstein S, McCaul K (2006) Adverse effects to quality of life arising from treatment can recover with intermittent androgen suppression in men with prostate cancer. Eur J Cancer 42(8):1083–1092PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 11.Sivarajan G, Prabhu V, Taksler GB, Laze J, Lepor HL (2013) Ten-year outcomes of sexual function after radical prostatectomy: results of a prospective longitudinal study. Eur UrolGoogle Scholar
- 16.Cormie P, Galvão DA, Spry N, Joseph D, Chee R, Taaffe DR, Chambers SK, Newton RU (2013) Can exercise prevent treatment toxicity in prostate cancer patients initiating androgen deprivation therapy: a randomised controlled trial. BJU Int. Accepted Jan 9Google Scholar
- 17.Galvao DA, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Joseph D, Newton RU (2010) Combined resistance and aerobic exercise program reverses muscle loss in men undergoing androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer without bone metastases: a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol 28(2):340–347PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Newton RU, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Cormie P, Chambers SK, Gardiner RA, Shum DHK, Joseph D, Galvão DA (2012) Can exercise ameliorate treatment toxicity during the initial phase of testosterone deprivation in prostate cancer patients? Is this more effective than delayed rehabilitation? BMC Cancer 12(1):432PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Taylor SE (2011) Social support: a review. In: Friedman H (ed) The handbook of health psychology. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 189–214Google Scholar
- 46.Cormie P, Chambers SK, Newton RU, Gardiner RA, Spry N, Taaffe D, Joseph D, Hamid MA, Chong P, Hughes D, Hamilton K, Galvão DA (2014) Improving sexual health in men with prostate cancer: randomised controlled trial of exercise and psychosexual therapies. BMC Cancer 14:199PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar