Tailoring Care for Gay and Bisexual Men With Prostate Cancer

A urology clinic specializing in care for gay and bisexual men has opened in Chicago, addressing unique concerns that have long been overlooked.

What to know:

  • How gay and bisexual men experience the symptoms of prostate cancer ― which include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, diminished libido, and loss of ejaculate ― differs from the experience of straight men, particularly in psychological and emotional impact.

  • The Gay and Bisexual Men’s Urology Program at Northwestern Medicine, the first program of its kind in the country, began taking patients this past August.

  • Many urologists report receiving less than 5 hours of training on the treatment of gay and bisexual patients, says the program’s director, Channa Amarasekera, MD. On the other side, gay patients being treated for prostate cancer have said that their sexual satisfaction was not adequately taken under consideration.

  • According to Amarasekera, asking patients the right questions and counseling them about the effects of treatment are needed for them to be able to make informed decisions about their care.

  • Leaders of the program are hopeful that it will provide a blueprint for similar programs to open up across the country.

This is a summary of the article, “In Chicago, a New Approach to Gay and Bisexual Men With Prostate Cancer,” published by The New York Times on December 7. The full article can be found on nytimes.com.

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