Sexuality and quality of life in women with a prior diagnosis of breast cancer after risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy

Paige E Tucker, Christobel Saunders, Max K Bulsara, Jason Jit-Sun Tan, Stuart G Salfinger, Helena Green, Paul A Cohen
Breast: Official Journal of the European Society of Mastology 2016, 30: 26-31

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women with a history of breast cancer following risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). A secondary objective was to examine the effect of a prior diagnosis of breast cancer, and other factors, on sexuality and quality of life (QoL) outcomes.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study of 119 women who underwent RRSO between 2009 and 2014.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data were collected via a questionnaire comprising demographic information and validated measures of sexual function, sexual distress, relationship satisfaction, body image, psychological stress, menopause symptoms and general quality of life.

RESULTS: Sixty out of 119 participants who underwent RRSO had a history of breast cancer. Eighty percent of women with breast cancer had female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and 82% had hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) after RRSO. Bilateral mastectomy was associated with higher rates of HSDD (p = 0.028) and higher body image self-consciousness (BISC) during sexual activity (p = 0.011). Breast reconstruction was associated with higher relationship satisfaction (RAS) scores (p = 0.004). Compared to Tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors (AI) were significantly associated with reduced lubrication (p = 0.041), arousal (p = 0.004), orgasm (p = 0.002) and greater dyspareunia (p = 0.027). Prior diagnosis of breast cancer was not associated with the prevalence of FSD (p = 0.532).

CONCLUSIONS: High rates of FSD and HSDD occur in women with breast cancer following RRSO. Low relationship satisfaction, bodily pain, bilateral mastectomy and the use of aromatase inhibitors were associated with poorer sexual function. Women had similar sexual outcomes and QoL after RRSO, regardless of breast cancer history.

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