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Transl Androl Urol. 2015 Apr;4(2):169-85. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2015.04.03.

Emotional and sexual concerns in women undergoing pelvic surgery and associated treatment for gynecologic cancer.

Author information

1
1 Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA ; 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA ; 3 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA ; 4 Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA.

Abstract

The surgical management of gynecologic cancer can cause short- and long-term effects on sexuality, emotional well being, reproductive function, and overall quality of life (QoL). Fortunately, innovative approaches developed over the past several decades have improved oncologic outcomes and reduced treatment sequelae; however, these side effects of treatment are still prevalent. In this article, we provide an overview of the various standard-of-care pelvic surgeries and multimodality cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) by anatomic site and highlight the potential emotional and sexual consequences that can influence cancer survivorship and QoL. Potential screening tools that can be used in clinical practice to identify some of these concerns and treatment side effects and possible solutions are also provided. These screening tools include brief assessments that can be used in the clinical care setting to assist in the identification of problematic issues throughout the continuum of care. This optimizes quality of care, and ultimately, QoL in these women. Prospective clinical trials with gynecologic oncology populations should include patient-reported outcomes to identify subgroups at risk for difficulties during and following treatment for early intervention.

KEYWORDS:

Gynecologic cancer; emotional function; quality of life (QoL); sexual function; surgery; survivorship

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