Cancer Patients Report Less Sex Pleasure

MILAN, Italy, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Cancer patients who take drugs that target specific molecular mechanisms report decreased levels of sexual function and satisfaction, French researchers say.

Dr. Yohann Loriot and Dr. Thomas Bessede of the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and colleagues surveyed 51 patients, 40 men and 11 women, who had been taking molecular targeted therapies — using the drugs sunitinib, sorafenib, temsirolimus, everolimus, bevacizumab, tarceva and cetuximab — for more than three months. The study subjects were asked about changes in their sexual life.

Men completed the International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire, which includes questions on erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, orgasmic function, sexual desire and overall satisfaction.

Women completed the Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire, which includes questions on desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain.

The median overall IIEF score for men was 40, just 53 percent of the maximum score, while for women, the median FSFI score was 8.4, just 24 percent of the maximum.

“The sex lives of the patients in our study had reduced quality and intensity,” Loriot says in a statement. “We also found that more than half of the patients expressed a wish for a satisfying sexuality, but many of them found it difficult to initiate a discussion on the topic with their doctors.”

The findings were presented at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Milan, Italy.

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