Assessment of sexuality in longterm survivors with ovarian cancer
20 September 2018 (online)
Previous data showed that gynecological cancer diagnosis significantly influences sexuality. Aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of sexuality in longterm survivors with ovarian cancer (LTS).
Within the study “Carolin meets HANNA” (NOGGO-GCIG-ENGOT) LTS and healthy women (control group) were asked to fill out the “Female Sexual Function Index” (FSFI) questionnaire. LTS were defined as patients whose diagnosis was made at least 8 years ago.
Until now 48 women participated, 20 LTS (median age: 68, range: 44 – 77 years) and 28 healthy women (median age: 49, range: 22 – 75 years). All LTS have had surgery, 75% have developed recurrent disease. LTS showed lower rates in desire (1.2 vs. 3.3, score range: 1.2 – 6), arousal (1.0 vs. 4.2, score range: 0 – 6), lubrication (0.5 vs. 5.4, score range: 0 – 6) and orgasm (0.0 vs. 5.0, score range: 0 – 6). Pain was more often reported by LTS (0.0 vs. 5.2, score range: 0 – 6). The overall sexuality score for LTS was 5.2 compared to 28.2 for healthy women (score range 2.0 – 36.0).
The first results of this ongoing study show a detrimental impact of ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment on sexuality – even after more than eight years after initial diagnosis. These results indicate that it is necessary to address sexuality in consultations and to offer support to these patients. Additionally, we are including a control group with “non-LTS” ovarian cancer patients.