Some patients are seeing decreases in the length of their penises after receiving treatment for prostate cancer.
NBC News reports that the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston have done a study on this topic. The results of the study show that some prostate cancer patients are complaining about the length of their penises being smaller when they awake from treatment.
A total of one centimeter, or about 1/3 of an inch, is the average reported loss of length in the penis. However, this is only an average. Some patients have awoken with nearly an inch and a half missing from their length.
Dr. Paul Nguyen, lead researcher for the new study and a radiation oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute said:
“It can be really hard for some men, especially when they don’t expect it ahead of time. It’s something we doctors almost never talk about. Before treatment, we talk with men about impotence, about problems with urination. But almost never do we get to the point of talking about losing some penile length.”
Nguyen told NBC News:
“When it does happen to men, it really does impact their lives. It interferes with their ability to form close relationships with others. For some men, it’s a real psychological issue. They don’t feel as confident about themselves because of the change in their appearance. It affects a lot of guys’ body image, their self image, and leaves them just not feeling like they used to.”
According to Common Health, the current study was based on surveys completed by physicians treating 948 men with recurrent cancer. Out of the 948, a total of 25 patients reported a shorter penis after treatment.
The patients who underwent surgery to have their prostate removed were the most common (19 out of 510 men) to complain about a shorter penis when awaking from the surgery. Those treated with male hormone-blocking drugs combined with radiation therapy (6 of 225 men), were also seeing a change in their size.
The men who, who were on radiation therapy alone, did not complain about losing any length in their penises.