Sexual functioning among endometrial cancer patients treated with adjuvant high-dose-rate intra-vaginal radiation therapy

Shari Damast, Kaled M. Alektiar, Shari Goldfarb, Anne Eaton, Sujata Patil, Jeffrey Mosenkis, Antonia Bennett, Thomas Atkinson, Elizabeth Jewell, Mario Leitao, Richard Barakat, Jeanne Carter, Ethan Basch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: We used the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) to investigate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction (SD) and factors associated with diminished sexual functioning in early stage endometrial cancer (EC) patients treated with simple hysterectomy and adjuvant brachytherapy. Methods and Materials: A cohort of 104 patients followed in a radiation oncology clinic completed questionnaires to quantify current levels of sexual functioning. The time interval between hysterectomy and questionnaire completion ranged from <6 months to >5 years. Multivariate regression was performed using the FSFI as a continuous variable (score range, 1.2-35.4). SD was defined as an FSFI score of <26, based on the published validation study. Results: SD was reported by 81% of respondents. The mean (± standard deviation) domain scores in order of highest-to-lowest functioning were: satisfaction, 2.9 (±2.0); orgasm, 2.5 (±2.4); desire, 2.4 (±1.3); arousal, 2.2 (±2.0); dryness, 2.1 (±2.1); and pain, 1.9 (±2.3). Compared to the index population in which the FSFI cut-score was validated (healthy women ages 18-74), all scores were low. Compared to published scores of a postmenopausal population, scores were not statistically different. Multivariate analysis isolated factors associated with lower FSFI scores, including having laparotomy as opposed to minimally invasive surgery (effect size, -7.1 points; 95% CI, -11.2 to -3.1; P<.001), lack of vaginal lubricant use (effect size, -4.4 points; 95% CI, -8.7 to -0.2, P=.040), and short time interval (<6 months) from hysterectomy to questionnaire completion (effect size, -4.6 points; 95% CI, -9.3-0.2; P=.059). Conclusions: The rate of SD, as defined by an FSFI score <26, was prevalent. The postmenopausal status of EC patients alone is a known risk factor for SD. Additional factors associated with poor sexual functioning following treatment for EC included receipt of laparotomy and lack of vaginal lubricant use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e187-e193
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


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