• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

Addressing sexual well being problems of breast cancer individuals on endocrine therapy


May 27, 2023

Breast cancer treatment options that can save a woman’s life can seriously harm her sexual well being, says Dr. Kristin E. Rojas, a breast cancer surgeon at Sylvester Extensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller College of Medicine. Though medical doctors have not historically been ready to assist individuals handle these toxic side effects, Rojas is major efforts to turn the tide.

Rojas, each a fellowship-educated breast surgical oncologist and a gynecologic surgeon, is a national leader in treating sexual dysfunction in female individuals undergoing cancer remedy. Other, far more broadly recognized side effects of lifesaving estrogen-blocking drugs – also recognized as endocrine therapy – involve challenges with pregnancy arranging for premenopausal individuals and decreased bone mineralization. According to Rojas, all 3 of these subjects should really be addressed as early as probable when arranging a course of therapy for a breast cancer patient with an estrogen-sensitive tumor.

Rojas will recognize dangers posed by endocrine therapies, define symptoms and talk about remedy alternatives in a presentation at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“By working with endocrine therapy to treat hormone-good breast cancers, we’re placing lots of young females into menopause, but we’re not undertaking a good job preparing them for it,” mentioned Rojas, who produced a plan to address women’s sexual well being following cancer remedy, the Menopause Urogenital Sexual Wellness and Intimacy Clinic (MUSIC) at Sylvester. Faced with unexpectedly higher demand, the clinic necessary to expand quickly following opening in 2020. Considering that Rojas expanded the plan by instruction further authorities to accommodate this good require, the MUSIC plan has grow to be a prototype for equivalent applications across the nation. It remains the only women’s oncology-focused sexual well being plan led by a dual-educated surgeon in the United States.

Individuals are normally hesitant to bring up sexual well being problems with their providers, and that is why we produced this groundbreaking plan exactly where individuals can openly talk about these problems in a one particular-on-one particular survivorship plan. If we do not address these frequent issues skilled by far more than 80% of female survivors of cancer, patient adherence to endocrine remedy decreases, and the progress we have produced in enhancing breast cancer survival is impeded.”

Kristin E. Rojas, breast cancer surgeon at Sylvester Extensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller College of Medicine

Rojas’ ASCO presentation will assist providers anticipate and treat the most frequent side effects skilled by individuals on endocrine therapy (or estrogen-blocking drugs), formulate a customized remedy strategy, guide individuals toward proof-primarily based practices and away from potentially dangerous “fringe” therapies, and troubleshoot frequent pitfalls encountered in the remedy of menopausal symptoms.

Amongst certain subjects:

  • Hot flashes – causes, triggers and treatment options.
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sex – causes, irritants, and modifications to the vaginal microbiome.
  • Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) – causes, treatment options, lubricants, devices and medication alternatives.
  • Merchandise, “therapies” and devices to keep away from.
  • Infertility threat and alternatives for fertility preservation.
  • Lowered bone mineralization and improved fracture threat – monitoring and prevention tactics.

Rojas’ presentation is portion of a session she will chair: “A Juggling Act: Managing the Toxicity of Estrogen Deprivation for Individuals With Breast Cancer,” Education Session E451. It will start at eight a.m. June five, 2023 (CDT), portion of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.


University of Miami Wellness Technique, Miller College of Medicine

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