Sexual dysfunction in gynecologic cancer patients

WCRJ 2017; 4 (1): e835

  Topic: Gynecological oncology     Category:

Abstract

Objective: Sexual dysfunction is prevalent among gynecologic cancer survivors and strongly impacts on the quality of life (QoL), but the subject is poorly diagnosed and treated.

Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search of English language studies on sexual dysfunctions due to gynecologic cancer treatment has been conducted on MEDLINE databases.

Results: Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can cause any kind of sexual dysfunction with different mechanisms: psychological and relational, hormonal and pharmacological, neurological and vascular, side effects of chemo and radiation therapies, and direct effects of surgery on sexually involved pelvic organs. Many patients expect their healthcare providers to address sexual health concerns, but most have never discussed sex-related issues with their physician, or they do not receive a proper treatment or referral. This can have medical legal consequences, because it must be discussed and documented before starting treatment.

Conclusions: Oncology providers can make a significant impact on the QoL of gynecologic cancer survivors by informing patients and by asking them for sexual health concerns. Counseling is per se beneficial, as it improves QoL. Furthermore, it permits a proper referral and resolution of most symptoms.

To cite this article

Sexual dysfunction in gynecologic cancer patients

WCRJ 2017; 4 (1): e835

Publication History

Submission date: 01 Mar 2017

Revised on: 06 Mar 2017

Accepted on: 11 Mar 2017

Published online: 30 Mar 2017