Despite Need, Cancer Centers Don’t Stock Sex Aids


(Pam Harrison, Medscape) The availability of therapeutic sexual aids at major cancer centers in the United States is extremely limited even though sexual dysfunction affects 50% to 90% of adult survivors as a result of treatment, new research suggests.

Of 25 National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated cancer centers contacted by a team, 87% reported having no therapeutic sexual aids on site for men and 72% reported having no sexual aids for women.

“Sexual dysfunction is one of the most significant and distressing problems for the majority of cancer survivors,” Sharon Bober, PhD (pictured above), a psychologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, told a presscast in advance of the Cancer Survivorship Symposium (CSS) Advancing Care and Research in Orlando, Florida.

“And we also know cancer survivors are unsure of or unaware of how to get help for these problems,” she elaborated.

Efforts to improve availability of sexual aids for survivors would likely promote sexual health rehabilitation and validate this underaddressed aspect of cancer survivorship, Bober and colleagues concluded.

The study findings are a wake-up call, said American Society of Clinical Oncology expert Timothy Gilligan, MD, who moderated the presscast.

“What is really sad to me about this study is that we are not meeting the needs of patients in this area — it doesn’t look like we are even coming anywhere close to it,” said Gilligan, who is a medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

“The good news is that I think we can easily do better if we just decide we want to,” he added.

The Cupboard Is Bare

Researchers identified 25 NCI-designated cancer centers to see what was available in terms of therapeutic sexual aids for cancer survivors … Read the full story at Medscape.


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