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ASTRO 2022: Assessing Sexual Dysfunction After Brachytherapy for Genitourinary Cancers

By: Amy MacDonald, MS
Posted: Monday, November 21, 2022

Brachytherapy is an important part of genitourinary cancer treatment, yet many patients (both female and male) report long-term sexual dysfunction afterward. Jamie Takayesu MD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues hypothesized that women’s sexual health may not be being assessed in the clinic as frequently as men’s health after brachytherapy.

Presented at the 2022 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 2306), the researchers’ data showed that more men than women were asked about sexual function at time of consultation for genitourinary cancer, even though the female cohort was younger. “We demonstrate a significant difference between men and women in the ascertainment of sexual function both in our clinic and on brachytherapy clinical trials nationwide,” stated Dr. Takayesu.

The researchers’ retrospective analysis included 126 women who had been treated for cervical cancer and 75 men who had been treated for prostate cancer. All patients had been treated with brachytherapy at a single institution between 2010 and 2021. Consultation notes were reviewed to determine whether patients had had their sexual function assessed. A statistically significant difference in assessment (P < .05) was found between the groups. Although 89% (n = 67) of men had had their sexual function assessed at consultation, just 13% (n = 16) of women had.

Disclosure: Dr. Takayesu reported no conflicts of interest.

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