Treatment for certain
Albaugh, who has been addressing sexual health for more than 25 years, has just published a book, "Reclaiming Sex & Intimacy After
Q. Why write about sexual side effects, when there are so many other concerns with cancer?
A. Because prostate cancer is the number one cancer for men ... and sexual dysfunction is the most common side effect. It's the big white elephant in the room. Over the years, after working with thousands of men and their partners, I kept hearing how desperately this information is needed.
Q. Are men not well informed about prostate cancer and side effects?
A. Women are incredible advocates for health. Look what they've done with
Q. Why do you think there's such a big difference between the genders when it comes to confronting health?
A. First, because men just aren't as health conscious and second, because these are very private issues. No man wants to hear the words "digital rectal exam."
Q. What are the most common prostate cancer interventions?
Q. If a patient is going through cancer treatment — and may be dealing with other side effects, such as nausea and fatigue — is it reasonable to ask someone to be amorous, as well?
A. It's not just about sex. ... It's about intimacy and connection.
Q. What else can cause sexual dysfunction?
A. Besides cancer, it can be
Q. A lot of these other conditions you mentioned are part of aging. Isn't a decrease of sexual activity just a normal part of the aging process?
A. It doesn't have to be. People are living longer and here you've had this life partner that you've been with for years and you don't have this connection anymore? It's a quality of life issue. So, you've got to start talking. And once again, it's usually women who initiate the conversation.
Q. So, how would you bring it up?
A. I'd just start with something like 'Maybe you're scared to touch me ... can we talk?' Maybe he'll say 'I'm afraid to hug you because I don't want you to think we can have sex.' He may not know that there's help out there ... but just talking about it will make things better for both of you. It will reduce anxiety and strengthen that connectedness.