Prostate Treatment Causes Permanent ShrinkageS

According to a new study, men who underwent treatment for prostate cancer reported that their penises were smaller afterward. The average loss was about one centimeter, but could be up to an inch and a half.

The study—conducted by researchers from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston and published in the journal of Urology—reviewed surveys completed by physicians of 948 men who had been treated for recurrence of prostate cancer and found that 25 of those men confided to their doctors that they'd lost some length. But Dr. Paul Nguyen, lead researcher for the study, says that while only three percent of men reported a size change, the actual number of men who've lost length is about 70 percent. Most men, he says, are either "too shy" to discuss it, or just haven't noticed.

The shrinkage is caused by surgery to remove the prostate, because "you have to tug on the penis" to connect it to the bladder. Scarring from the surgery can also reduce the length. Apparently, it's something that doctors previously were not regularly warning patients about, so the loss in length tends to be a surprise.

"It can be really hard for some men," Dr. Nguyen said, perhaps not realizing how unintentionally funny the phrase can be when discussing penises.

Image via juliasv/Shutterstock

Shorter penis alarms some men after prostate treatment, study finds [MSNBC]