Plucking up courage to approach world leader in pelvic floor physiotherapy
It took me about six months to pluck up the courage to contact Jo by email. I explained what I was planning on doing. And I gave Jo a list of barriers that I would face. I knew them well from my master’s degree experience. In short, financial assistance for research in South Africa doesn’t exist, so my PhD would be self-funded. After a few emails, Jo had come up with a suggestion that suited my parameters perfectly. Jo had highlighted a gap in the current literature and suggested that I looked into it.
This missing bit of knowledge is now known as the Neglected Sexual Side Effects after prostate cancer. They are the lesser known sexual side effects that would not routinely be picked up, discussed or managed in clinical practice.
As you will have witnessed in the Recovering Man blog, these side effects are well known to prostate cancer survivors.
But few professionals in clinical practice knew much about them. Jo had noticed these side effects in the patients under her care. So we were sure that we would found something similar amongst South African patients if we asked the right questions. Hence the invitation for South African prostate cancer survivors to take my survey.
My PhD: The neglected sexual side effects of prostate cancer
After a year of planning I started my PhD in Clinical Medicine (Urology). My brilliant supervisor and research mentor is Professor Jacky van Wyk. My research initially focused on systematically reviewing the literature on the Neglected Sexual Side Effects.