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Does surgery for rectum cancer cause ED?

Surgery for rectum cancer can cause erectile dysfunction. This surgery can make it hard for a man to get an erection for a couple of reasons. First, the surgery can damage nerves that send signals to cause an erection. The cancer may be in or around these nerves. Surgeons are working on ways to avoid these nerves during surgery. Second, the surgery can cause a man to become less interested in sex because of discomfort or concerns about sensitive areas near his penis.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

A man facing surgery for rectum cancer must confront another harsh reality: The procedure that could save his life may curb his sex life, at least temporarily. As a surgeon removes cancerous tissue from the rectum, there's the likelihood that he or she may damage nerves needed to produce an erection. That can result in erectile dysfunction.

Don't despair, however. Younger patients may be candidates for so-called nerve-sparing procedures, which are less likely to cause permanent erectile dysfunction. For all other men who develop erectile dysfunction after surgery for rectum cancer, oral medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) can help you to cope with sexual problems.

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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.