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Gay and bisexual men living with prostate cancer focus of research

Prostate Cancer Canada announces its first funding of research into sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatments for MSM

Vancouver, September 25, 2018 – Research funded by Prostate Cancer Canada is preparing the way to improve quality of life for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM)1 in the LGBTQ2+ community.

Dr. Bernard Lee from BC Cancer is leading a team of researchers creating a tool to explore how side effects from prostate cancer treatments affect gay and bisexual men’s sex lives.
Dr. Bernard Lee
Dr. Bernard Lee from BC Cancer

“The more we learn about the importance of personalized prostate cancer treatment and care, the more we realize there is no one-size-fits all approach to managing the disease,” says Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Vice-President of Research, Health Promotion and Survivorship at Prostate Cancer Canada. “Dr. Lee’s work is a great example of the importance of diversifying research, targeting a drastically underserved segment of the population in health care, to ensure no man’s unique circumstances are overlooked.”

Dr. Lee and his team are developing a survey to address the unique challenges and needs of MSM with prostate cancer. The survey will identify ways the health care system can support them through their diagnoses and treatments to offer the best quality of life and sexual well-being.

“This project will be crucial for researchers studying the sexual impact of prostate cancer in the MSM community,” says Dr. Lee. “Right now, it can be difficult for men to navigate life after treatment, and even more so for men in the LGBTQ2+ community. As a member of the gay community, I understand how sexual function can be linked to self-identity, but there is little information and support specifically for gay and bisexual men after prostate cancer treatment. Our research will help these men and their partners make informed treatment decisions with the least sexual impacts on their lifestyle. It will also help health care professionals provide the best care and advice for these men.”

Side effects from prostate cancer treatment such as erectile dysfunction or loss of sex drive can critically affect quality of life. There are currently substantial knowledge gaps in how prostate cancer treatment including surgery, radiation or hormone treatment affects MSM.

With the help of Prostate Cancer Canada, Dr. Lee and his team, with consultation from members of the LGBTQ2+ community, will develop a survey that can be used in clinical and research settings to obtain actionable findings.

1For clarity, individuals in the MSM community have been referred to as men in the press release; however, Prostate Cancer Canada recognizes many individuals identify along a spectrum and may not choose to identify in this manner.

For more information:

Arden Bagni
Manager, Communications
Prostate Cancer Canada
416-441-2131 ext 264
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