Navigation Links
Fertility concerns of cancer survivors inadequately addressed, study finds
Date:10/12/2010

Many cancer survivors experience changes in sexual function that leave them feeling guilty and a longing for intimacy, Australian researchers told at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy. The researchers say that these sexuality and fertility concerns are often not adequately addressed by doctors.

Professor Bogda Koczwara from Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide said that fertility concerns among cancer survivors was a growing problem, due to a combination of improved cancer treatment outcomes in young cancer survivors and the trend for people to delay having children.

Millions of people worldwide are living after treatment for cancer, many of them still of reproductive age, Prof Koczwara said. To evaluate the range of fertility and sexuality concerns among these patients, she and her colleagues interviewed 25 cancer survivors --19 women and 6 men.

"Respondents perceived fertility as an important concern that was often inadequately addressed by healthcare providers," Prof Koczwara said.

"The most intriguing finding was that fertility concerns were also identified by women who have already completed their family, and fertility was an important issue even for those women who had no plans for further children."

The researchers found that fertility was important for these patients' sense of identity and body image. "That is important, as doctors may not raise these issues with patients who claim not to have plans for further children. As our study points out, maybe we should."

Sexuality and fertility can be affected by cancer and its treatment in a variety of ways. For some cancers, treatment may involve removal of reproductive organs. For others, the chemotherapy or radiotherapy may affect reproductive organs function either temporarily or permanently. For most patients, cancer treatment, delays reproduction and by making the patient unwell may impact on sexual desire.

In this study, sexual concerns seemed to be related to changes in body image and sexual identity, and the often discrepant sexual needs of patient and their partner. For single people, changes in sexual function resulted in anxiety about entering into future relationships.

"The lack of desire attributed to cancer treatment was associated with feelings of guilt about not supporting the partner among the participants in our study," Prof Koczwara said. With time, many respondents accepted fertility loss but struggled with ongoing impact of changes in sexual function and its impact on their relationships.

Prof Koczwara said there are some good resources available for patients to help them with concerns about fertility and sexuality, but patients in the study indicated interest in more information and resources."

"There appears to be a need for raising awareness of these concerns among cancer professionals and providing them with information and training regarding these concerns," she said.

Prof Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, commented that the presentation by Prof Koczwara highlights a major issue that impacts on the quality of life of people who survive cancer.

"Up to 65% patients diagnosed with cancer are still alive in 5 years, and survival is increasing with better treatments. Until recently the emphasis was on treating the cancer but it is being increasingly recognized that a variety of psychosocial problems and late effects of treatment persist and need to be addressed in this population," Prof Olver said.

"Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Prof Koczwara's study is that issues of fertility are important even to those who have completed their families, which highlights the importance of fertility to a person's identity. The call for greater awareness amongst cancer professionals of sexual and fertility issues should be translated as the need to provide the opportunity for patients to discuss these issues and then have the appropriate support to help in their resolution."


'/>"/>

Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Sees Link Between Epilepsy, Infertility
2. Women and Infants provides fertility preservation for childhood cancer survivors
3. Technique to preserve fertility in young women may be unsafe for patients with leukemia
4. Tel Aviv University Fertility Research Confirms New York Center's DHEA Findings
5. Drug May Shrink Fibroids, Preserve Fertility
6. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association Announces Partnership with Attain Fertility
7. GYN Oncologist Uses da Vinci Surgical Robot to Preserve Fertility
8. 7.3 Million US Men and Their Partners Face Fertility Issues
9. Infertility Specialist Dr. Joshua Hurwitz Appointed to Lead Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Danbury Hospital
10. Research shows personality can predict fertility
11. Vitals.com Recognizes Two RMACT Fertility Doctors as 'Leading On-Time Doctors'
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In an article published April 16th on the ... and lip injections, which she underwent in order to feel more at home at ... Festival. The article explains that Ms. Mirmelli’s situation is not unique; many plastic surgeons ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Awakening , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN and New Mood Daily-Stress ... Onnit brain and mood optimization products to the store is just one more ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Springs, California (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... lies at the heart of our nation’s productivity, stability, even security. Most importantly, ... for their organizations. , Then why are American workers so unhappy? , Just ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Conditions were ideal for Global Lyme Alliance’s ... Sunday, with sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the 60s. Over 400 ... 5k Run and Walk and 1-mile walk were held to increase awareness about ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Spine Team Texas, a comprehensive spine physician group specializing in the treatment of ... invited to be a featured speaker at the Texas Society of the American College ... , Dr. R. Scott McPherson, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, will speak ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 ... consumer insights on healthcare, announced today that it has ... report Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, ... 15, 2016.  The report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, ... insight from patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  ValGenesis, Inc., ... Management Solutions (VLMS) today announced that a ... for sufferers of chronic kidney failure has ... manage their corporate validation process. The global ... software solution to manage their validation processes ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , le 27 Avril 2016 ... a progressé de +5% sur le trimestre, soutenu ... de consommables  Croissance de +16% des ... Mauna Kea Technologies (Euronext : MKEA, FR0010609263 ; ... confocale laser, annonce aujourd,hui son chiffre d,affaires pour ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: