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Is Treating Prostate Cancer Worth Losing the Ability to Have Sexual Intimacy with the Woman You Love?
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In Episode 319, Eyes Wide Open, Charlotte and Cooper team up to give a safe sex presentation to senior citizens. STD's in retirement communities are on the rise. So Charlotte and Cooper give the "condom talk" they usually give to teenagers to the over sixty crowd! Sexual problems can stem from any number of medically treatable conditions, but most of the senior citizens aren't very interested in the seminar. But one 80-year-old man, Oscar Schmitt, does confide in Cooper that he's having some sexual challenges.
After reluctantly going to Charlotte for a full examination, Oscar finds out he doesn't have an STD. He has prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer is a treatable disease when caught in the early stages. For Oscar, his is advancing quickly. His best option is radiation therapy. For men who have this form of treatment, about half have some sexual problems afterwards. There are medications and other ways to restore function, but it's a risk that needs to be considered. Some men are not able to enjoy sex the way they did before treatment.
Oscar has a choice to make. He can forgo treatment, shortening his life span considerably. Or he can go forward with the treatment, taking the risk to his sexual activity, and know his chances of living to a very old age are pretty good.
Cooper and Oscar have a real talk about love and manhood. It's not all about the bedroom—it's about being with the woman you love. If Oscar decides against treatment, he won't be there to love his girlfriend at all.
Oscar decides to give love a chance. He says yes to treating his prostate cancer.
But did he make the right decision? He's already 80 years old. Shouldn't he make the most of what he has left?
Is it better to have a full life for as long and you can or make peace with limitations as you grow older?
What do you think?