Interventions to address sexual problems in people with cancer: American society of clinical oncology clinical practice guideline adaptation of cancer care Ontario guideline

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Clin Oncol


© 2017 by American Society of Clinical Oncology. Purpose The adaptation of the Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) guideline Interventions to Address Sexual Problems in People With Cancer provides recommendations to manage sexual function adverse effects that occur as a result of cancer diagnosis and/or treatment. Methods ASCO staf reviewed the guideline for developmental rigor and updated the literature search. An ASCO Expert Panel (Table A1)was assembled to reviewthe guideline content and recommendations. Results The ASCO Expert Panel determined that the recommendations from the 2016 CCO guideline are clear, thorough, and based upon the most relevant scientific evidence. ASCO statements and modifications were added to adapt the CCO guideline for a broader audience. Recommendations It is recommended that there be a discussion with the patient, initiated by a member of the health care team, regarding sexual health and dysfunction resulting from cancer or its treatment. Psychosocial and/or psychosexual counseling should be offered to all patients with cancer, aiming to improve sexual response, body image, intimacy and relationship issues, and overall sexual functioning and satisfaction. Medical and treatable contributing factors should be identified and addressed first. In women with symptoms of vaginal and/or vulvar atrophy, lubricants in addition to vaginal moisturizers may be tried as a first option. Low-dose vaginal estrogen, lidocaine, and dehydroepiandrosterone may also be considered in some cases. In men, medication such as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors may be beneficial, and surgery remains an option for those with symptoms or treatment complications refractory to medical management. Both women and men experiencing vasomotor symptoms should be offered interventions for symptomatic improvement, including behavioral options such as cognitive behavioral therapy, slow breathing and hypnosis, and medications such as venlafaxine and gabapentin.Additional information is available at: Www.asco. org/survivorship-guidelines and www.asco.org/guidelineswiki.

Volume Number


Issue Number



492 - 511

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

General Internal Medicine

Additional Departments

Psychiatry; Urology





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