FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Sexual dysfunction is common in women with lung cancer, according to a study presented at the annual International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer World Conference on Lung Cancer, held from Aug. 6 to 9 in Vienna.

Narjust Florez, M.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues used data from the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer and the Lung Cancer Registry to evaluate sexual dysfunction in 249 women with lung cancer.

The researchers found that within the previous 30 days, 53 percent of participants had sexual activity with themselves or someone else. Three-fourths of participants (77 percent) reported little to no interest in sexual activity, and two-thirds (67 percent) stated rarely or never wanting to engage in sexual activity. Fatigue (40 percent), feeling sad/unhappy (28 percent), issues with partner (22 percent), and shortness of breath (15 percent) were the most common factors cited as negatively affecting satisfaction with patients’ sex lives. Out of the participants reporting having had sexual activity in the previous 30 days, 59 percent reported significant issues with vaginal dryness and 26 percent reported vaginal pain/discomfort during sexual activity. Marked differences were noted in decreased sexual desire or interest and vaginal pain/discomfort before and after lung cancer diagnosis.

“Sexual health should be integrated into thoracic oncology and further research is necessary to develop tailored interventions for patients with lung cancer,” Florez said in a statement. “Patients whose sexual health is addressed have better quality of life, better pain control, and better relationships with their partners and their health care team.”

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