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Multifaceted Strategy Boosts Sexual Health, Eases Anxiety for Breast Cancer Survivors

Researchers developed a targeted intervention to help reduce distressing sexual dysfunction for young breast cancer survivors with promising results.
BY Katie Kosko
PUBLISHED May 27, 2020
Targeted intervention can help reduce distressing sexual dysfunction in young breast cancer survivors, according to study findings published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

Researchers developed a clinical psychosexual intervention to help manage sexual dysfunction and psychological distress in 20 breast cancer survivors who had received ovarian suppression treatment.

“Unlike natural menopause, young women undergoing ovarian suppression face severe and disruptive side effects,” the researchers wrote. “Profound sexual dysfunction is one of the most prevalent, distressing side effects of treatment.”

The intervention included sexual health rehabilitation, body awareness exercises and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy skills.

All survivors received a tailored phone call once a month. Sexual and psychological distress were assessed in survivors at the beginning of the study and two months after the intervention was completed. At that follow-up, the researchers noted significant improvements in survivors’ sexual health and anxiety.

They expressed hope that in managing sexual dysfunction more women will adhere to ovarian suppression treatment.

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