Sexual Health After a Cancer Diagnosis: An Expert Weighs In
Sexual Health After a Cancer Diagnosis: An Expert Weighs In from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
What can ovarian patients do if they have sexual health issues that arise during their patient journey? Expert Dr. Ebony Hoskins explains issues that may come up for some patients and patient advice on how to seek support.
Dr. Hoskins is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center. Hoskins sees women for gynecological malignancies, which include the treatment of endometrial, ovarian, vulva, vaginal and cervical cancers.
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Dr. Hoskins, can you speak to the sexual health following a cancer diagnosis, and which healthcare team member should patients have a conversation with?
Dr. Ebony Hoskins:
I think this is a great question. I think sexual health is something that goes undiscussed unless we ask it, and I think sometimes it’s uncomfortable for the patient, it’s uncomfortable for the provider. But I do talk to a lot of women that have decreased libido or pain, or there’s a lot of dysfunction sometimes after surgery or chemotherapy, and some of it is related to the actual treatment itself. Physiologic meaning how the body functions after treatment, and some could be the fact that there is shame associated with that, sometimes the cancer is involving a sexual organ in that area, and so I think bringing discussion up to your…whether the provider is a gynecologic oncologist and is the person who did the surgery, or the who person gave the chemo or the radiation oncologist. Also, there are mid-level providers who do survivorship, and it just kind of depends on who’s taking care of you after completion of treatment, butI know there are survivorships, and these are times to bring it up. Bring it up to your provider, number one, and they may have resources to refer you to in terms of getting through these difficult times, because I think ultimately you can get your sexual life back.