Sex and Intimacy

Living With Advanced Prostate Cancer

Living With Advanced Prostate Cancer


Sex and Intimacy Matter1

Keeping intimacy alive can be important

Whether you have been with your partner for decades or just a short while… whether you are dating different people or are seeking a relationship… intimacy is likely to be an important part of your life. Intimacy may involve sexual activity or may be more emotionally driven, but either way, intimacy makes our lives richer.

As a man with advanced prostate cancer, or a person in the relationship with him, you may be understandably concerned with the potential effects of the disease on intimacy – physically or emotionally. Whether part of a committed couple, a more casual relationship or single, you have the right to take steps toward a fulfilling life of intimacy.

You and your doctor have likely discussed how sexual functioning can be adversely affected by advanced prostate cancer. For many people, discussing sexual functioning and related intimacy issues – whether with a partner or a physician – can feel uncomfortable. As a man, your sexuality may be strongly tied to your sense of masculinity, and the thought of not having full sexual feeling or ability can lead to a sense of anger, loneliness or even depression.


Keeping pathways of communication open between you and your partner will assist in allowing you two to navigate through the roadblocks to redefine your sexual relationship.


  • Talk to Your Healthcare Team: Although sexual intimacy can be an uncomfortable subject to talk about, your physician, nurse or another member of your healthcare team may be able to provide useful guidance, support groups or educational materials.
  • Redefine Intimacy: While achieving and sustaining sexual functioning may be more difficult, sexuality may include making your partner feel good in ways that go beyond penile penetration.
  • Share in the Journey: Dealing with an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis, deciding on treatment and trying your best to carry on as normal can be challenging. It may be helpful to allow your partner to work through these challenges with you.
  • Be Open: Your sexual life together may have an impact on your whole relationship. Being proactive and open to new ideas, whether it be advice from a friend, healthcare professional, couples counsellor or your partner, may help you as you deal with these issues.

Your relationship matters – so make a point of talking to your partner about what’s on your mind.


  1. My Prostate Cancer Roadmap. Available at:


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