Assessing the impact of late treatment effects in cervical cancer: an exploratory study of women's sexuality.
AffiliationNurse Learning & Development Unit, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK. Meriel.Burns@christe-tr.nwest.nhs.uk
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AbstractCancer survivorship has become a major issue due to people living longer with the effects of cancer treatment. A key issue in this area are the 'iatrogenic effects' of cancer treatments and their adverse impact on the quality of long-term patient survival. This paper considers the late physical effects of treatment for cervical cancer, in particular psychosocial problems associated with sexuality. The aim of this paper was to explore women's sexuality following treatment for cervical cancer. A qualitative phenomenological design was used to explore the lived experiences of a purposive sample of 13 women 2-3 years after treatment, using in-depth interviewing. The findings demonstrate that cancer treatment can result in a number of late physical effects, including bladder and bowel dysfunction. Moreover, the physical problems led to sexual difficulties experienced several years after treatment. Concerns were expressed by patients about perceived psychosexual difficulties encountered as a result of treatment. In conclusion, the study raises issues associated with the management of late treatment effects and its impact on sexuality. The findings underline the need for effective communication of possible iatrogenic effects of treatment during follow-up care and a need for research to consider the advice and information that women require about long-term treatment effects.
CitationAssessing the impact of late treatment effects in cervical cancer: an exploratory study of women's sexuality. 2007, 16 (4):364-72 Eur J Cancer Care
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
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