The effect of prostate cancer treatment in gay and bisexual men is an under-researched area. In 2015, we conducted in-depth telephone interviews with 19 gay and bisexual men who had undergone radical prostatectomies. Across the respondents’ five emotional themes emerged: (1) shock at the diagnosis, (2) a reactive, self-reported “depression”, (3) sex-specific situational anxiety, (4) a sense of grief, and, (5) an enduring loss of sexual confidence. Identity challenges included loss of a sense of maleness and manhood, changes in strength of sexual orientation, role-in-sex identity, and immersion into sexual sub-cultures. Relationship challenges identified included disclosing the sexual effects of treatment to partners, loss of partners, and re-negotiation of sexual exclusivity. Most to all of these effects stem from sexual changes. To mitigate these negative effects of radical prostatectomy, and to address health disparities n outcomes observed in gay and bisexual men, all these challenges need to be considered in any tailored rehabilitation program for gay and bisexual men.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was conducted with funding from the Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute (NCI) [grant number 1 R21 CA182041] and the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant.
© 2016 College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.
- Erectile dysfunction
- psychiatric treatment
- relationship factors
- sexual orientation