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Does radiation therapy for bladder cancer cause ED?

Radiation therapy for bladder cancer may cause erectile dysfunction. The radiation can damage nerves that carry signals to the penis causing an erection. It may also damage the blood vessels that bring blood to the penis. And it can slow production of testosterone, a hormone involved in erections. The discomfort or concern it causes may also reduce a man's desire for sex.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Radiation therapy for any form of cancer can save lives. Unfortunately, radiation destroys both cancerous and healthy tissue, which is why men treated for bladder cancer often develop erectile dysfunction.

Older men, as well as those who smoke or who were already experiencing problems with erections, are most likely to have erectile dysfunction following radiation therapy for bladder cancer. The effects of radiation on erections usually begin to emerge about six months after the procedure. Drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) and tadalafil (Cialis) can help restore healthy sexual functioning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.