The impact of radiotherapy for carcinoma of the cervix on sexual function assessed using the LENT SOMA scales.
AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK.
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AbstractBACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: As there are few studies examining the impact of radiotherapy on sexuality, we assessed the effect of radiotherapy for carcinoma of the cervix on sexual health and the ability of the LENT system to assess sexual function. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the vagina and sexual dysfunction scales of the LENT SOMA scales, subjective scores were measured prospectively before initiation of radiotherapy for 89 women, and at the following times after the start of treatment: 21, 70, 200, 400, 600 and 800 days. RESULTS: There was considerable variation in pre-radiotherapy scores that was not related to disease stage (P=0.054), but was related to patient age (P=0.037, for the average vagina scores and P=0.039 for the maximum vagina scores) The scores were influenced by prior surgery (P<0.0005 for maximum and average vagina scores, P=0.042 average and 0.017 maximum sexual dysfunction scores). For 48 patients for whom data were available at the first three time points, the vagina scores decreased significantly by 70 days compared to pre-radiotherapy scores, but not for sexual dysfunction. There was heterogeneity in the pattern of changes of scores over time: for some women there was no change in vagina subsection score, some increased, and some decreased. CONCLUSIONS: The work has shown variation both in pre-treatment sexual function and in the pattern of changes seen following radiotherapy. Our questionnaire proved useful to score subjective sexual and vaginal problems as given in the LENT subjective scales. Further study is needed to assess the effectiveness of the scales in assessing late effects.
CitationThe impact of radiotherapy for carcinoma of the cervix on sexual function assessed using the LENT SOMA scales. 2003, 68 (3):241-7 Radiother Oncol
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
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