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Brain cancer and sexual health: A case report

  • MICHAEL L. KRYCHMAN (a1), ALISON AMSTERDAM (a1), JEANNE CARTER (a1) (a2), MERCEDES CASTIEL (a1) and LISA DeANGELIS (a3)...

Abstract

Objective: Cancer patients often encounter sexual concerns during the diagnosing, treatment, and recovery phase of their illness. However, the sexual concerns of these patients are often overlooked. Brain cancer patients are no exception to this oversight.

Methods: A case report of a 39-year-old patient with a history of high-grade anaplastic astrocytoma presented to the Sexual Health Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center complaining of vaginal discharge and several months of amenorrhea. Although the patient was administered extensive aggressive antineoplastic treatments, her disease rapidly progressed.

Results: Despite the patient's terminal illness she continued to have normal sexual thoughts, feelings, and desires; however, she had difficulty discussing these issues with her partner and caregiver, who was her mother. An examination by the sexual medicine gynecologist noted no clinical signs of genital infections; however, there was minimal vaginal atrophy. Her sexual health laboratory evaluation was extensively abnormal. Her treatment consisted of intravaginal non-hormonal moisturizers and vaginal lubricants, counseling, and sexual education. The patient successfully engaged in sexual contact with her partner by the third counseling session.

Significance of Results: Almost all oncology patients have sexual concerns during or following cancer treatment. These patients should be referred to comprehensive sexual health programs for treatment, if available.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Michael L. Krychman, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, MRI-1027, New York, NY 10021. E-mail: gynbreast@mskcc.org

References

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REFERENCES

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Keywords

Brain cancer and sexual health: A case report

  • MICHAEL L. KRYCHMAN (a1), ALISON AMSTERDAM (a1), JEANNE CARTER (a1) (a2), MERCEDES CASTIEL (a1) and LISA DeANGELIS (a3)...

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