Blacks report better sexual, urinary function after prostate surgery than whites

blems after prostate cancer surgery, radiation therapy and other treatments, this study is the first to look at such issues within ethnic groups.

Because African-American men have tended to have worse outcomes after prostate cancer treatment, researchers suspected they might have reduced function, as well. Results were surprising.

Researchers found that five years after surgery, nearly 44 percent of African-American men had erections firm enough for sexual intercourse; only about 22 percent of their non-Latino white prostatectomy counterparts could say the same. However, nearly 38 percent of African-American men reported that their sexual function was a moderate-to-big problem, compared to 35 percent of non-Latino white men.

The team controlled for many factors that might affect results, such as secondary treatments, income level and age, but differences among ethnic groups persisted. Terri Kang Johnson, doctoral student in biostatistics at the Keck School, was the study's first author and conducted these complex analyses. Other members of the USC research team include Frank Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., David Penson, M.D., M.P.H., and Dennis Deapen, Dr.P.H.

"There may be differences among ethnic groups in their perceptions of function," Hamilton proposes.

The researchers also found that while about 28 percent of Latino men who underwent prostatectomy reported having erections firm enough for sexual intercourse, more than 54 percent of them reported sexual function as a moderate-to-big problem.

Researchers say results indicate that significant side effects continue to affect men long after treatment. "In the end, what might be important is actually how the therapy affects each man," Hamilton says. "In terms of counseling men for side effects, perhaps there may be additional care that could be taken in discussing sexual side effects."

Interestingly, men from different ethnic and racial groups who were treated throug

Contact: Sarah Huoh
University of Southern California

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