Sexual dysfunction common among bladder cancer patients

3 days ago
Sexual dysfunction common among bladder cancer patients

Patients with bladder cancer suffer from high rates of sexual dysfunction, especially those who have undergone radical treatments, a recent study has found.

Researchers enrolled 1,796 participants (median age 75 years, 78 percent men) who had accomplished a self-reported survey designed to assess sexual function, problems, intimacy, enjoyment, and other relevant measures. The patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) survey was conducted 10 years after participants had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Most of the respondents (66 percent) were either married or in civil partnerships, though only 31 percent reported being sexually active in the last 4 weeks. In terms of dysfunction symptoms, majority of women (66 percent) reported vaginal dryness. In men, erectile (80 percent) and ejaculatory (58 percent) problems were likewise highly common.

Logistic regression analysis found that having undergone radical treatments reduced the likelihood of being sexually active by almost half, as compared with transurethral resection of bladder tumour (adjusted odds ratio, 0.56, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.44–0.72; p<0.001).

Similarly, radical treatment led to significantly worse intimacy scores (29.1 vs 12.1; p<0.001), male sexual problems (72.2 vs 45.7; p<0.001), and overall sexual function (17.1 vs 20.3; p=0.01).

“This study provides the largest in-depth analysis of sexual activity and function after bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment, to date,” the researchers said.

“These findings highlight the magnitude of sexual dysfunction in the bladder cancer patient cohort and can help inform patients during the pre-op counselling process and shared decision making prior to bladder cancer treatments,” they added.

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