A study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting showed decreased sexual activity in women following treatment for gynecologic cancers, down from 6 to 7 times per month before treatment to 3 to 5 times per month after treatment (abstract 9592).
“[Sexual dysfunction] is a topic that not many people want to talk about because it is uncomfortable,” said Saketh Guntupalli, MD, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the CU School of Medicine. He acknowledged, however, that it is an issue important to maintaining quality of life after treatment for patients and their partners.
Dr. Guntupalli and his team worked with researchers from Denver Health Medical Center, Columbia University, and Loma Linda University to survey 315 women about their sexual health.
The data showed an overall decrease in sexual frequency after cancer treatment but no accompanying increase in marital dysfunction. Dr. Guntupalli said counseling during cancer treatment may benefit a couple’s sexual health after treatment. ■