When I first met Jeff Albaugh several years ago, I was impressed not only by his expertise in sexual health, but, even more so, by his remarkable energy and enthusiasm for his chosen profession. I, therefore, made it a priority to recruit Dr. Albaugh to NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) so that we could work together to build a sexual health program. Dr. Albaugh and I share the same caring approach to patients that creates a different kind of nurturing environment focused on maximizing quality of life for patients and their partners. Since I met Jeff, he has not only built a successful clinical practice, but he has also established strong collaborative relationships with our colleagues in other medical disciplines including gynecology, family practice, internal medicine, and physical therapy. Earlier this year, through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William Ross, the NorthShore Ross Clinic for Sexual Health was established. This clinic is unique in the Chicagoland area and is one of only a few facilities in the United States that provides comprehensive care for both men and women with sexual health concerns.
It is indeed a pleasure to write the Foreward for Jeff’s book, which is long overdue. All treatments for prostate cancer can result in diminished sexual health. Prior to treatment, physicians understandably emphasize the importance of cancer cure, while minimizing the significant sexual effects that are associated with prostate cancer treatments. Similarly, patients are understandably frightened by the diagnosis of prostate cancer and are either unaware or reluctant to discuss this issue before undergoing treatment. Following treatment, however, when the fear of cancer is diminished, this very important quality-of-life issue assumes much greater significance, and, unfortunately, treating physicians again tend to minimize sexual health concerns, and, at best, address these issues reluctantly and superficially.
This book should be read by all men, as well as their partners, prior to undergoing prostate cancer treatment. In a clear and patient-friendly style supplemented with numerous illustra- tive diagrams and sidebar highlights to emphasize important “take home messages,” Dr. Albaugh discusses the risks to sexual health associated with each type of treatment for prostate cancer, and then addresses the specific risks associated with surgery, including dry orgasms and shrinkage of the penis. He then provides a thorough overview of all available treatments for erectile dysfunction, devotes separate chapters to each of these treatments, and also provides a discussion regarding the post-treatment strategy of penile rehabilitation. The book concludes with two chapters devoted to the importance of psychological well-being to normal sexual function and a very supportive chapter for the partners of men dealing with sexual dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment.
I am indeed both proud and fortunate to work with Dr. Albaugh, and I know that this book will be an invaluable resource for all men with prostate cancer and their partners.
Charles B. Brendler, MD
Co-Director, John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health & William and Pamela Hutul
Ross Clinic for Sexual Health
NorthShore University HealthSystem