open access

Vol 23, No 5 (2018)
Original research articles
Published online: 2018-09-01
Submitted: 2017-10-03
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Radiation therapy is not an independent risk factor for decreased sexual function in women with gynecologic cancers

Marisa R. Moroney, Dina Flink, Jeanelle Sheeder, Erin A. Blake, Aakriti R. Carrubba, Christine M. Fisher, Saketh R. Guntupalli
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2018.07.007
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2018;23(5):331-336.

open access

Vol 23, No 5 (2018)
Original research articles
Published online: 2018-09-01
Submitted: 2017-10-03

Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the associations of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and intracavitary brachytherapy (IB) with decreased sexual function.

Background

There’s inconsistent evidence on whether radiation for gynecologic cancers has an impact on sexual health. IB, an underutilized treatment modality, is thought to have less adverse effects than EBRT.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study examining decreased sexual function following radiation for gynecologic cancers. A decrease in sexual function was measured as a change in the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) from before to after treatment, with a significant decrease determined by Reliable Change Index Statistic (RCIS). Chi-square and t-tests were employed.

Results

171 women completed the survey; 35% (n = 60) received radiation, of whom 29 received EBRT and IB (48%), 15 EBRT alone (25%), 16 IB alone (27%). Women who received radiation had similar rates of decreased sexual function as women who did not (47% vs. 38%, P = 0.262). EBRT and IB had similar rates of decreased sexual function compared to women with no radiation (50% vs. 38% P = 0.166 and 47% vs. 38% P = 0.309). Women experiencing decreased sexual function were more likely to be under 50 years old (OR 5.4, 95%CI 1.6–18.1), have received chemotherapy (OR 5.7, 95%CI 1.4–22.9), and have cervical cancer (OR 7.8, 95%CI 2.1–28.8).

Conclusions

Treatment with EBRT or IB does not appear to impair sexual function in women with gynecologic cancer. Age less than 50, concurrent chemotherapy, and cervical cancer may place women with gynecologic cancer at higher risk for decreased sexual function following radiation.

Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the associations of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and intracavitary brachytherapy (IB) with decreased sexual function.

Background

There’s inconsistent evidence on whether radiation for gynecologic cancers has an impact on sexual health. IB, an underutilized treatment modality, is thought to have less adverse effects than EBRT.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study examining decreased sexual function following radiation for gynecologic cancers. A decrease in sexual function was measured as a change in the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) from before to after treatment, with a significant decrease determined by Reliable Change Index Statistic (RCIS). Chi-square and t-tests were employed.

Results

171 women completed the survey; 35% (n = 60) received radiation, of whom 29 received EBRT and IB (48%), 15 EBRT alone (25%), 16 IB alone (27%). Women who received radiation had similar rates of decreased sexual function as women who did not (47% vs. 38%, P = 0.262). EBRT and IB had similar rates of decreased sexual function compared to women with no radiation (50% vs. 38% P = 0.166 and 47% vs. 38% P = 0.309). Women experiencing decreased sexual function were more likely to be under 50 years old (OR 5.4, 95%CI 1.6–18.1), have received chemotherapy (OR 5.7, 95%CI 1.4–22.9), and have cervical cancer (OR 7.8, 95%CI 2.1–28.8).

Conclusions

Treatment with EBRT or IB does not appear to impair sexual function in women with gynecologic cancer. Age less than 50, concurrent chemotherapy, and cervical cancer may place women with gynecologic cancer at higher risk for decreased sexual function following radiation.

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Keywords

Sexual health; Survivorship; Radiation therapy; Brachytherapy; Gynecologic cancers

About this article
Title

Radiation therapy is not an independent risk factor for decreased sexual function in women with gynecologic cancers

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 23, No 5 (2018)

Pages

331-336

Published online

2018-09-01

DOI

10.1016/j.rpor.2018.07.007

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2018;23(5):331-336.

Keywords

Sexual health
Survivorship
Radiation therapy
Brachytherapy
Gynecologic cancers

Authors

Marisa R. Moroney
Dina Flink
Jeanelle Sheeder
Erin A. Blake
Aakriti R. Carrubba
Christine M. Fisher
Saketh R. Guntupalli

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