eISSN: 2299-0038
ISSN: 1643-8876
Menopause Review/Przegląd Menopauzalny
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3/2016
 
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Letter to the Editor

Comment on: “The consequences of gynaecological cancer in patients and their partners from the sexual and psychological perspective”

Salvatore Giovanni Vitale, Valentina Lucia La Rosa, Agnese Maria Chiara Rapisarda, Antonio Simone Laganà

Menopause Rev 2016; 15(3): 186-187

Dear Editor,

We read with great interest the review by Iżycki et al. [1] about the sexual, psychological, and social consequences of gynaecological cancer in patients and their partners.
We agree that the impact of gynaecological cancer on mental health, sexual functioning, and emotional wellbeing of affected women and their partners is considerable, and it is important to investigate this topic in order to ensure that gynaecological cancer patients receive optimal care [2].
Although we appreciated the reported methodology, we would like to take this opportunity to point out several elements that would let us further realise the results of this study.
In our opinion, it would have been more appropriate to further differentiate sexual and psychological consequences according to the type of gynaecological cancer and the type of treatment. Indeed, the literature about this topic underlined that the type of cancer (endometrial, cervical, ovarian, or vulvar cancer) and the type of treatment (such as simple or radical hysterectomy, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy) may have different effects on the sexual health and quality of life of affected women [2, 3]. For example, ovarian cancer is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, and the majority of patients present with advanced-stage disease [3-5]; therefore, it is associated with more serious consequences from a psychological point of view. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that radical surgery and radiation therapy may affect sexual functioning more negatively than less radical surgery [2, 6-8].
For these reasons, we believe that it would be appropriate to take into account several factors, such as type and stage of cancer and treatment modality, in order to better understand the impact of these variables on the sexual and psychological well-being of patients.
Nonetheless, it is important to underline that most of the studies done on this topic used very heterogeneous samples for age, disease stage, and treatment, so it is necessary to conduct further studies with more homogeneous samples in order to obtain more reliable and reproducible data.
We appreciate the section of the review devoted to the consequences of gynaecological cancer for the partners of the affected women. Indeed, the impact of cancer on the partner’s sexual function, partner’s relationship satisfaction, and general well-being between the couple are...


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