Assessing gynecologic and breast cancer survivors' sexual health care needs




The objective of this study was to identify patterns of interest in receiving care for sexual concerns among women who were survivors of gynecologic and breast cancers.


Survey and medical records data were collected from June 2008 to March 2009 from 261 gynecologic and breast cancer patients. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of age and months since treatment on interest in receiving sexual healthcare.


The mean participant age was 55 years (range, 21-88 years). Only 7% of women had recently sought medical help for sexual issues, yet 41.6% were interested in receiving care. Greater than 30% responded that they would be likely to see a physician to address sexual matters, and 35% of all women were willing to be contacted if a formal program was offered. Compared with older women (aged >65 years), younger women (ages 18-47 years) were significantly more likely to report interest in receiving care to address sexual issues (odds ratio [OR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14-7.54) and to see a physician to address sexual matters (OR, 4.51; 95% CI, 1.51-13.43), and they were more willing to be contacted for a formal program (adjusted OR [AOR], 5.00; 95% CI, 1.63-15.28). Compared with women who were currently in treatment, women who last received treatment >12 months previously were significantly more interested in receiving care (AOR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.02-4.01) and were more willing to be contacted (AOR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.18-5.26).


Greater than 40% of survivors expressed interest in receiving sexual healthcare, but few had ever sought such care. The current results indicated that there is an unmet need for attention to sexual concerns among women with gynecologic and breast cancers. Cancer 2011;. © 2010 American Cancer Society.