A selection from:
Men,Women, and Prostate Cancer
One of the cruelest ironies about prostate cancer is that it
usually strikes men at that time in their life when they're most
concerned about their virility: between the ages of fifty and sixty-five. This concern — part conscious and part subconscious — is
much more multidimensional than a simple ''midlife crisis'' about
getting older, being ''outdone'' by younger men, and possibly not
having realized certain lifelong dreams. It's a complex reaction to
a number of symptoms that may well be associated with a natural
drop in male hormone levels. Scientists are now in the process of
verifying that most men during this age period go through a kind
of hitherto unacknowledged, ignored, or denied ''male menopause,'' a condition that has been dubbed ''viropause'' in the
Although viropause i.s certainly milder in its observable
effects than menopause, it can be similarly upsetting to the individual. Physically, men going through viropause experience
greater and more frequent fatigue; a decline in muscle mass, tone,
and strength; and a waning of their ''youth-related'' attractiveness. Emotionally, they find themselves increasingly beset by fear,
depression, and confusion. But one of the most disturbing developments of all is inseparably physical and emotional in nature: a
decline in sexual desire and potency.
To varying degrees, most men in this age bracket find themselves having unprecedented or much more frequent problems
getting or sustaining an erection — a situation that medical investigators over the past decade have often been able to link to declining hormone levels. Comedian George Burns was able to laugh
about this problem when it began happening to him: ''Everything
that goes up must come down,'' he joked, ''but there comes a time
when not everything that's down can come up.'' Most men who
develop the problem, however, are not so even tempered in their
response. They can't help worrying to some extent about losing
their manhood altogether — perhaps sooner rather than later.
When they're diagnosed with prostate cancer, such fears can compound exponentially.
|Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <http://www.phoenix5.org>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <www.phoenix5.org/infopolicy>.