Pre and posttreatment evaluation of sexual function in patients with adenocarcinoma of the prostate

Eva S. Zinreich, Leonard R. Derogatis, Jeffrey Herpst, Georgiana Auvil, Steven Piantadosi, Stanley E. Order

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Twenty-seven patients with adenocarcinoma of the prostate, and available partners, were interviewed to qualitatively and quantitatively assess their level of sexual function prior to and 12 months after radiotherapy. Assessments were made using the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning (DISF). Five domains of sexual functioning are measured: sexual fantasy, arousal, experience, orgasm, and drive. Prior to therapy 17 of 27 patients (62.9%) were considered impotent. There were eight patients with a DISF score of less than 20 who were impotent. Six patients had a DISF score of greater than 47 and were considered potent. Of the patients with DISF scores between 20-47 four were potent, and nine were impotent. Post radiation therapy three of the patients considered potent (with a score greater than 47) maintained their potent status. Four patients considered impotent prior to therapy became potent after therapy. All patients with a score less than 20 prior to radiation therapy remained impotent after therapy. Results indicate that an objective evaluation of sexual function pre treatment is necessary to determine the effect of radiotherapy. Our method of qualitative assessment of sexual function was easy to implement, was reproducible and could be used to evaluate long-term effects of radiotherapy on sexual function. Of the patients presenting for radiotherapy, 62.9% were impotent. Twelve months after radiation therapy 19 of 27 (70.3%) were impotent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-732
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • External beam irradiation
  • Pre and posttreatment potency
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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