Psychological Stress On Gay Men After Prostate Cancer

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 13, 2021

Cancer can be tough on anyone both emotionally and physically, such as the case of Matthew Curtin who came to know that he had prostate cancer in October 2019. Doctors further did a biopsy to confirm the same and were suggested that they would have to remove his prostate as that is the only viable option at this stage.

Psychological Stress On Gay Men After Prostate Cancer

Curtin underwent surgery that had no complications and there was no trace that cancer would come back. However, Curtin who is 66 came to know that there is another battle that awaits him of emotional and psychological stress.

Psychological Stress On Gay Men After Prostate Cancer

Since he was gay many of the doctors at the hospitals were not sure how to handle this emotional stress and were asked to refer some other doctor. After the surgery during recovery cancer patients experiences some symptoms like diminished libido, urinary incontinence, and even erectile dysfunction also known as ED.

Since the emotional stress on the patient is too high there might be issues in their personal lives as well. Curtin`s search for a doctor who is equipped to handle gay and bisexual men lead him to Dr. Channa Amarasekera who is the director of a Urology Program at Chicago. This is the first of a kind and has been recently started for this specific group of people. Amarasekera stated that he saw many gay and bisexual men who are not understood by other psychologists and they needed a secure place to open up. The main vision of this organization is to give such a secure place.

Dr. Amarasekera stated that earlier there was not much talk between patients and doctors apart from the medical conditions and mental conditions were not given much priority. However, nowadays patients are opening up and it is crucial to treat their mental health as well so that the person is not stressed about his condition.

Many of the gay people who are 50 or 60 are now entering the phase of prostate cancer and would have survived the worst epidemic of AIDS in the ’80s and ’90s. These people must have seen how the earlier medical establishments are not much help and this has led them to not open up to doctors much.

Dr. Amarasekera`s organization plans to help such people and is currently located in Chicago and is said to expand soon to other cities as well. He further stated that when a survey was conducted among gay men it has been found that people who survived the cancer are not able to satisfy their sexual repertoires. Many people are not also fully aware of what would happen if their prostate has been removed and how it would affect their sex life. He believes that doctors should communicate much more effectively to their patients on this topic as this affects them adversely in the post-treatment stage.

Dr. Dowsett who underwent removal of his prostate due to cancer was told by his own doctor that there won’t be any issues, however, he consulted his head on and was then asked to get this treated at some other facility.

Dr. Amarasekera stated that his new organization will also help people on how to deal with these types of issues as well. Another important thing is that the patients should also ask all their doubts to their doctors and then make an informed decision. One should always consult multiple doctors before undergoing any such surgery. If not later they would feel guilt or resentment towards themselves which would affect their personal life to a great extent.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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