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Sexual Problems Continue for Young Cancer Survivors

Jan 30, 2018

At the start of the study, almost 58% of the participants had romantic partners, but two years later, the figure dropped to 43%.

Women were among the participants most likely to experience sexual issues. Other high-risk groups were older patients, those who were married or in a committed relationship, those who had undergone chemotherapy, those with psychological distress, and those with less social support.

Being in a relationship was linked to worse sexual function for women, but relationship status was not a contributing factor for men.

“We concluded that sexual functioning is experienced differently among males and females. For a young woman, especially, a cancer diagnosis can disrupt her body image, the intimacy with the partner and the ability to engage in sex,” lead author Chiara Acquati told the University of Houston, where she is a professor at the Graduate College of Social Work.

She added: “Results from this study emphasize the need to monitor sexual functioning over time and to train health care providers serving young adults with cancer in sexual health. Furthermore, patients should be connected to psychosocial interventions to alleviate the multiple life disruptions caused by the illness and its treatment.”

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