Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, on Sexual Health in AYA Cancer Survivors

January 8, 2021
Hannah Slater

“As the number of AYA survivors continues to grow, there is a pressing need for targeted information, education, and intervention around sexual health, intimate relationships, and body image,” the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AYA Oncology Discipline Committee wrote in a review.

A review from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) AYA Oncology Discipline Committee, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, suggested that interventions to support sexual health are necessary for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors.

The committee’s Sexual Health Task Force conducted a review of articles specifically focused on sexual dysfunction, sexual desire, satisfaction, body image, and romantic relationships among posttreatment AYA cancer survivors who were diagnosed with cancer in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. Ultimately, the review suggested that collaborations between the COG and adult-focused cooperative groups associated with the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) are necessary to enhance assessment of sexual dysfunction and test interventions to improve sexual health among this patient population.

“As the number of AYA survivors continues to grow, there is a pressing need for targeted information, education, and intervention around sexual health, intimate relationships, and body image,” the authors of the review wrote.

“Building on the results of this review, the COG is poised to develop a prospective study of AYA sexual health through the inclusion of key measures within NCTN-wide survivorship studies and concomitantly contribute to ongoing education for providers and patients.”

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, discussed what will be necessary to address the issues identified in the review and improve young cancer survivors’ quality of life.

Reference:

Cherven B, Sampson A, Bober SL, et al. Sexual health among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: A scoping review from the Children’s Oncology Group Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Discipline Committee. CA Cancer J Clin. Published December 7, 2020. doi: 10.3322/caac.21655