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Sexual Function of Patients With Endometrial Cancer Enrolled in the Gynecologic Oncology Group LAP2 Study
  1. Jeanne Carter, PhD*,
  2. Helen Huang, MS,
  3. Dana M. Chase, MD,
  4. Joan L. Walker, MD§,
  5. David Cella, PhD and
  6. Lari Wenzel, PhD
  1. *Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY;
  2. Gynecologic Oncology Group, Buffalo, NY;
  3. Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ;
  4. §University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK;
  5. Northwestern University/Prentice Women’s Hospital, Chicago, IL; and
  6. University of California Medical Center, Irvine, Orange, CA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jeanne Carter, PhD, Female Sexual Medicine and Women’s Health Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, New York, NY 10065. E-mail: carterj@mskcc.org.

Abstract

Objectives To present responses to sexual function items contained within the quality of life (QOL) survey of the Gynecologic Oncology Group LAP2 study, to investigate associations between sexual function and other factors (such as relationship quality and body image), and to explore patterns of response in patients with endometrial cancer.

Methods Participants enrolled in the LAP2 QOL study arm completed a self-report QOL survey, which contained sexual function items, before surgery, and at 1, 3, and 6 weeks and 6 months after surgery. Responses to sexual function questions were classified into 3 patterns—responder, intermittent responder, and nonresponder—based on whether the sexual function items were answered when the QOL survey was completed.

Results Of 752 patients who completed the QOL survey, 225 completed the sexual function items within the QOL survey, 224 responded intermittently, and 303 did not respond at all. No significant differences of sexual function were found between the patients randomized to laparoscopy compared to laparotomy. Among those who responded completely or intermittently, sexual function scores declined after surgery and recovered to presurgery levels at 6 months. Sexual function was positively associated with better quality of relationship (P < 0.001), body image (P < 0.001), and QOL (P < 0.001), and negatively associated with fear of sex (P < 0.001).

Conclusion Our findings suggest that younger patients, those who were married, and those who had quality relationships were more likely to answer the sexual function items and have better quality of sexual function. Factors such as age, relationship quality, body image, and pain may place women with endometrial cancer at risk for sexual difficulties in the immediate recovery period; however, sexual function improved by 6 months postoperatively in our cohort of patients with early-stage endometrial cancer.

  • Sexual function
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gynecologic cancer treatment
  • Laparoscopy
  • Laparotomy

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Footnotes

  • This study was supported by National Cancer Institute grants to the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Administrative Office (CA 27469) and the GOG Statistical and Data Center (CA 37517). The following GOG institutions participated in the GOG 2222 (LAP2): Abington Memorial Hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Mississippi Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, University of California at San Diego, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Indiana University School of Medicine, University of California Medical Center at Irvine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, University of New Mexico, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Washington University School of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbus Cancer Council, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Women’s Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma, Tacoma General Hospital, Tampa Bay Cancer Consortium, Gynecologic Oncology Network, Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Wisconsin Hospital, Women and Infants Hospital, and CCOP.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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