Surgical procedures that remove tumors from the colon often damage nerves needed to produce an erection.
Younger men with colon cancer surgery may be candidates for so-called nerve-sparing surgery. This technique causes little or no damage to those critical nerves needed to achieve an erection. Following this procedure, a man may experience a period of erectile dysfunction, but will usually regain full sexual functioning over time.
While not all men are candidates for nerve-sparing surgery, studies show that the majority who develop erectile dysfunction after having surgery for colon cancer respond well to oral medications and other treatments for this frustrating condition.