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Survey: 77% of Women With Lung Cancer Report Sexual Dysfunction

*August 2022*

A total of 77% of women with lung cancer surveyed reported moderate to severe sexual dysfunction, according to results of the SHAWL study presented at the World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Of the 127 participants who noted sexual activity in the previous 30 days, 75 (59%) reported significant issues with vaginal dryness, and 63 (26%) reported vaginal pain or discomfort during sexual activity, said Narjust Florez (Duma), MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

In addition, she said, marked differences were noted before and after participants’ lung cancer diagnosis in decreased sexual desire/interest (15% vs 31%, P<0.001) and vaginal pain/discomfort (13% vs 43%, P<0.001).

The most common reasons given that negatively affected participants’ satisfaction with their sex life (“very much” to “somewhat”) included the following, Florez said:

  • Fatigue: 95 patients (40%)
  • Feeling sad/unhappy: 66 patients (28%)
  • Issues with partner: 52 patients (22%)
  • Shortness of breath: 36 patients (15%)

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