Researchers who followed-up men 15 years after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for localized prostate cancer found that most were not sexually active and a high proportion had severe erectile dysfunction (ED).

Per Fransson, PhD, RN, and Anders Widmark, MD, PhD, of Umeå University in Ureå, Sweden, compared 29 EBRT patients with 34 age-matched controls who were part of a study population enrolled between 1986 and 1989.

Seventy-eight percent were not sexually active compared with 38% of controls, according a report in Urologic Oncology (2009; published online ahead of print). In addition, 94% had severe ED compared with 64% of controls.

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The researchers assessed sexual function using the Prostate Cancer Symptom Scale and International Index of Erectile Function.