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Sexual dysfunction after premenopausal stage I and II breast cancer: do androgens play a role?

Alder, J. and Zanetti, R. and Wight, E. and Urech, C. and Fink, N. and Bitzer, J.. (2008) Sexual dysfunction after premenopausal stage I and II breast cancer: do androgens play a role? Journal of sexual medicine, Vol. 5. pp. 1898-1906.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6004222

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Sexual dysfunction after breast cancer has been attributed to a variety of treatment associated and psychological factors. Data on the role of a treatment-induced decrease of testosterone for the development of sexual problems in breast cancer survivors have remained inconclusive. However, androgen metabolites constitute a more reliable measure for total androgen activity. AIM: To measure levels of total androgen activity in breast cancer patients and to investigate relevant predictors of sexual dysfunction after breast cancer. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients with a premenopausal diagnosis of Stage I or II breast cancer and terminated adjuvant treatment, completed questionnaires on sexuality, quality of relationship, body image, and depression. In addition, blood samples were taken for the analysis of sex steroids. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), Relationship (PFB), Beck Depression Inventory, and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire. Analysis of dihydroepiandrosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, androstenedione, 17beta-diol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, androsterone, and ADT-G, 3-alpha-diol-3G, 3-alpha-diol-17G. RESULTS: Low levels of sex steroids reflected the medication-induced postmenopausal status independent of the type of chemotherapy treatment. Sexual dysfunction was present in 68% of the study group. Women with a history of chemotherapy were more affected in all of the FSFI-domains. The only predictor for desire was quality of relationship, while chemotherapy was predictive for problems with arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual pain. Sexual satisfaction and higher FSFI sum scores were predicted by better quality of relationship and no history of chemotherapy, together explaining 54.2% and 49.7% of the variance. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual dysfunction after breast cancer is common and women should be informed properly at an early stage of treatment. Speci interventions have to be offered considering person-related preexisting factors and couples at risk should be supported in the transition to sexual life after breast cancer.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Ehemalige Einheiten Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Geburtshilfliche und Gynäkologische Psychosomatik (Bitzer)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Ehemalige Einheiten Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Geburtshilfliche und Gynäkologische Psychosomatik (Bitzer)
UniBasel Contributors:Bitzer, Johannes
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1743-6095
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 16:22
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:09

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