MINNEAPOLIS — Five years after his husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a University of Minnesota professor is working to improve rehabilitation treatment for LGBT survivors of the disease, the Minnesota Daily reports.
On Tuesday, Simon Rosser, an epidemiology professor at the University of Minnesota, received a $3 million National Cancer Institute grant to study the rehabilitation of LGBT prostate cancer survivors. The study is the first NIH-funded study of its kind.
The study will survey 450 people — the largest pool in the field to date, the Minnesota Daily reports.
“Gay and bisexual men with prostate cancer is a hidden population,” Rosser told the Daily. “If you go to a doctor tomorrow and you’re a gay man with prostate cancer, the doctor cannot advise you about what works because the scientists haven’t conducted the studies.”
After the treatment, which often includes the removal of the prostate, many prostate cancer survivors experience sexual repercussions, Rosser said. One of his recent studies shows that consequences, like change in orgasm or erectile difficulties, disproportionately affect men who have sex with men.
Because of these repercussions, sexual functioning after surgery is the leading predictor of quality of life, the Minnesota Daily reports.
Last year, Rosser applied for the NIH grant to find those answers.
His study will test various rehabilitation techniques to find which ones doctors should recommend to patients. The study will be conducted online to reach a national pool of cancer survivors.
Rosser said he hopes to determine what rehabilitation methods can help those who underwent the surgery years ago, as well as recent patients, the Minnesota Daily reports.