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Sexual Problems Continue for Young Cancer Survivors

Sexual Problems Continue for Young Cancer SurvivorsCancer and its treatment can lead to a number of sexual problems for patients and survivors, including painful intercourse, erectile dysfunction (ED), and trouble with orgasm. Now, new research suggests that over half of younger survivors experience such problems, some for at least two years.

Researchers asked a group of young adult cancer patients between the ages of 18 and 39 to complete a questionnaire on medical outcomes and sexual functioning. One hundred twenty-three people filled out the questionnaire within four months of their cancer diagnosis. One hundred seven repeated the process six months later, and 95 did so a third time at a 24-month follow up point.

Each time the researchers tallied the results, they found that over half of the respondents reported sexual problems and that the probability of dysfunction and psychological distress increased over time. Two years after diagnosis, about 53% still had some degree of sexual dysfunction.

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