Women's sexual health amid cancer treatment often neglected, study says

Researchers found physicians discuss sexual health with only 13 percent of women going through cancer treatment, compared with 89 percent of men, U.S. News reported Oct. 25.

The study's authors reviewed consult notes for 201 patients who were treated with brachytherapy for prostate or cervical cancer between 2010 and 2021. They found physicians not only discussed sexual dysfunction less often with women, but none of the women were assessed using a patient-reported outcomes tool. By contrast, 81 percent of male patients were assessed using such a tool.

"There seems to be a big disparity in the way we approach sexual dysfunction with our patients, where female patients are asked about sexual issues much less often than male patients are," lead author Jamie Takayesu, MD, a radiation oncology resident physician at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, said in the report.

About half of women who receive cervical brachytherapy experience sexual side effects, according to the report. Researchers said some disparities in the way physicians approach treatment might arise because there are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer, but not for cervical cancer.

Also, although there are multiple FDA-approved sexual dysfunction medications for men, options for women are sparse, according to the report.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars