Young Adults With Cancer Receive Information About Treatment-Related Impact on Sex Life


Problems related to sex life are ranked among the core concerns in young cancer patients. Receiving adequate information may prepare them to handle negative side effects or avoid unnecessary worries since not every treatment has an impact on sex life. Despite the existence of guidelines recommending that conversations about sexual health should be held by healthcare professionals, previous studies showed that not all young cancer patients were informed about it.

A population-based cross-sectional survey study was conducted to understand to what extent young cancer patients received information from healthcare providers about the potential impact of cancer and its treatment on their sex life. The respondents were 1010 young adults (694 women and 316 men), diagnosed at age 18– 39, who had completed 1.5 years since the diagnosis of testicular, ovarian or cervical cancer, lymphoma, or brain tumour.

The results from this study showed that only about half of the women and two-thirds of the men recalled having received some information (male 68% vs. female 54%, p < 0.001); the proportion of patients who reported receipt of information varied across the diagnoses and patients diagnosed, and brain tumor patients were identified as the group who had been informed to a lesser extent than those with other cancers (regardless of gender). The study also revealed that patients with more intense treatment were more likely to report having received information about the impact on sex life.