Navigation Links
Sexual problems rarely addressed by internists caring for cancer survivors
Date:10/21/2009

Few internists who care for cancer survivors address issues of sexual dysfunction with their patients, according to a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers. In their article appearing in a November 2009 cancer survivor supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, now available online, the investigators report that more than half the internists responding to a survey indicated they rarely or never discussed sexual problems with their patients who had survived cancer.

"Sexual dysfunction is an important quality-of-life issue that many cancer survivors struggle with," says Elyse Park, PhD, MPH, of the MGH Institute for Health Policy, who led the study. "If these conversations are not happening in the primary care physician's office, they're not likely to be happening anywhere."

As more cancer patients live longer after treatment, quality-of-life concerns become more important. Sexual dysfunction is common not only among prostate and breast cancer survivors but also in significant percentages of survivors of other types of tumors. Problems may result from the cancer itself or its treatment, and patients can also experience depression, anxiety and concerns about body image that can interfere with desire, intimacy and sexual functioning. While many effective treatments are available for sexual dysfunction, the authors note, treatment can only begin if affected patients are identified. And for more and more cancer survivors, the primary care physician is their most significant health care provider.

The current report is part of a larger survey of primary care physicians' caring for cancer survivors. Among questions on the survey sent to more than 200 internists affiliated with the University of Colorado were how often they addressed issues of sexual dysfunction with adult cancer survivors and how likely they were to initiate such discussions. Only 46 percent reported they were somewhat or very likely to bring up sexual issues during a patient visit, and 62 percent indicated they rarely or never addressed the subject with cancer survivors.

Factors associated with a physician's being more likely to address sexual issues were spending more time delivering direct patient care and feeling better prepared to care for cancer survivors in general. Lack of time was not cited as a barrier, and another predictor of the likelihood of discussions was the internists' perceptions of patient anxieties and fears about their health. "While conversations about sexual problems did not appear to be a standard part of most respondents' interactions with patients, it's interesting that such conversations were more likely to take place if they sensed that something was bothering the patient," Park says.

"Patients are often referred to me for anxiety or depression associated with cancer or other medical problems, but sexual health is almost never mentioned in the referral," adds Park, who is a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "It turns out that sexual issues are involved the majority of the time. They're a big aspect of what's going on with these patients, but are almost never being addressed." She and her colleagues cite the need for additional training to better prepare internists and other primary care practitioners to discuss sexual concerns with cancer survivors and other patients.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
2. Trojan(R) Ranks U.S. Colleges and Universities in Second Annual Sexual Health Report Card
3. Different HIV rates among gay men and straight people not fully explained by sexual behavior
4. Sexual function affected by stem cell transplant according to long-term study
5. Victimization for sexual orientation increases suicidal behavior in college students
6. Contents of the McGinnis Mansion Refurbishes Portland, Oregon Sexual Minority Youth Center
7. Almost 90 percent of children reported experiencing sexual violence
8. Corrective sex education may make sexual offenders more dangerous
9. Now Every Man Can Enhance His Performance, Whatever His Sexual Style
10. Epilepsy drugs may cause sexual disorders
11. Worm Study Points to Sexualitys Origins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... , ... With the FCPX LUT: Summer pack from Pixel Film ... LUT is a Lookup Table that contains a mathematical formula for modifying an image. ... By manipulating each pixel, LUT's can change each color range differently, it gives the ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... Research has ... helps to reduce the frequency and level of relapse. , At ... Identity and Purpose,” will explore the critical tasks of the recovery phase and ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Bethpage, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... florist-quality long-stem roses in a variety of colors, assortments and packaging. This staple for ... at any King Kullen location. , For Valentine’s Day, not only are long-stem ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... & Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 ... ... of Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature with author Jahnavi ... New Really Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on his weekly Whole-Food ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The event is being ... Block Event Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Triumph Over Parkinson’s will fund nearly $100,000 for ... of Schneiderman’s Furniture, lives with Parkinson’s disease and is the architect of this informative ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... and CEO, will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s 2016 ... NY at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February ... Panel discussion taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. ... one hour after the conclusion of the live event. The ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: DHRM ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep ... and international markets, today announced its corporate and ... Company,s resources to develop its mobile health business, ... more on its major businesses. As of this ...
(Date:2/5/2016)...  Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC ), the world,s ... office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today ... a majority ownership interest in Dental Cremer S.A., a ... Brazil . --> ... the dental distribution business of Cremer S.A. With 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: