Sexual Functioning Is Affected By Cancer

A research says that when a person is diagnosed with cancer, then the sexual functioning of the person is equally affected. The study has been conducted by the University of Houston according to which almost half of the patients diagnosed with cancer complaints problems related to sexual functioning. With the passage of time, the sexual dysfunction increases.

The study reveals that two years after the initial diagnosis of cancer, about 53% of adults between the age of 18 to 39 years old complained of some problems related to sexual function. According to Chiara Acquati, who is an author and assistant professor at the UH Graduate College of Social Work, it is really challenging for young adults who are detected with cancer to cope up the difficulties of the same. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, apparently his life is put on hold and it is extremely challenging for the young adults who are on the verge of starting their families or carriers.

The studies revealed further that women who are engaged in a relationship complain of more sexual problems over the course of time. However, for men, the relationship status is not important as the probability of the sexual problems increases over the course of time regardless of his relationship status.

In young males and females, sexual functioning is experienced differently. When a young woman is diagnosed with cancer, it generally disrupts her mind and body and also reduces the intimacy with the partner and affects her ability to engage herself in sex.

In the initial stages of the two-year-study, around 58% of the participants were found to be involved in a romantic relationship. After the diagnosis of cancer, only 43 percent of them were found to have a partner. Along with the disease, psychological distress of the patients also increases. It is significant to understand how does the psychological and emotional developments affect the body and mind of cancer affected patients.

Also, the study says that if the sexual problems could not be addressed, then it can put the young adults at risk of consequences related to sexual functioning. It is also very important to address the sexual problems and discuss them openly.  with the patients. Discussing the problems might be challenging as health care providers might feel embarrassed to discuss sex with the patients. However, the sexual functioning is very important and should be discussed with the patient once he is diagnosed with cancer. The study tells us that there is constant need to monitor the sexual functioning in the young cancer patients. Also, the health care providers should be trained on how to deal with young cancer patients.

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