Cancer, Benign Gynecology, and Sexual Function—Issues and Answers

Nelson Bennett*, Luca Incrocci, David Baldwin, Geoff Hackett, Ahmed El-Zawahry, Alessandra Graziottin, Monika Lukasiewicz, Kevin McVary, Yoshikazu Sato, Michael Krychman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction The diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship of cancer have a profound effect on the quality of life and psychological well-being of men and women. Indeed, the perturbation of sexual function because of neoplasm has far-reaching implications. Aims To explore the prevalence, pathophysiology, and treatment of sexual issues in persons with cancer and offer evidence-based recommendations regarding optimal prevention and treatment strategies. Methods A committee of multidisciplinary specialists was formed as part of the larger International Sexual Medicine Consultation working with urologic and sexual medicine societies over a 1-year period to review the result of chronic-illness management on sexual function and satisfaction. The aims, goals, data collection techniques, and report format were defined by a central committee. Main Outcomes Measures Expert consensus was based on evidence-based medical and psychosocial literature review, extensive group discussion, and an open presentation with a substantial discussion period. Results This summary evaluates contemporary literature concerning the prevalence, pathophysiology, and psychological impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment on sexual dysfunction. Evidence-based recommendations and guidelines for evaluation and management are presented. Conclusion The diagnosis and treatment of cancer have a significant negative impact on sexual function and satisfaction. Comprehension of baseline sexual function, role of psychological supports, and available treatment options could attenuate the heavy burden of decreased sexual function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-537
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Benign Gynecological Disease
  • Cancer
  • Sexual Function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology


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