Improvements in the management of prostate cancer have increased the need to consider patients’ quality of life, in particular in relation to sexual function. The causes of sexual dysfunction are varied and derive from both the condition and its management. Health professionals must choose their treatment strategies with great care. Patient expectations must be understood, and patients should be offered counselling, as an understanding of what can reasonably be expected contributes to patients’ perception of their quality of life. There are few studies on sexual dysfunction in patients with prostate cancer. A first step would be to develop reliable questionnaires for the assessment of the problem. This article describes and discusses the findings of one such recently developed questionnaire. When baseline measures of sexual function have been established and the extent of sexual dysfunction in patients with prostate cancer is reliably quantified, large multicentre trials can be performed to evaluate the impact of different therapies on sexual function and quality of life. Sexual dysfunction is an area which will be of increasing importance to urologists who manage prostate cancer and one that should not be underestimated.

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