October 23, 2020
Join us Monday 10/28/2020 when our guest Dr. Sharon Bober (@DrSharonBober) will lead a discussion on sexual health and changes in sexual function due to breast cancer therapy. Dr. Bober is the founder and director of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Sexual Health Program, and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.
Treatments for breast cancer, including chemotherapy and endocrine therapy, are often designed to reduce estrogen levels to help reduce risk of cancer recurrence. Premenopausal women may go through sudden menopause during treatment, and post-menopausal women may find that treatments exacerbate menopausal symptoms. Hot flashes and bone pains are common, but so are sexual side effects including severe dryness, pain, lack of sexual desire, and others. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, and may result in early treatment discontinuation. It can sometimes be difficult for patients to initiate the conversations with their oncologists regarding sexual side effects of treatment, and unfortunately, some physicians are uncomfortable having these conversations or have not been trained in symptom management. Other barriers to effective symptom management strategies include lack of dedicated funding and resources – studies that are performed on intervention strategies tend to be small, institution or hospital based.
Topics to be discussed will include:
T1: Sexual health is more than just treating vaginal dryness – what are some of the factors that need to be considered and addressed?
T2a: What are “best practice” recommendations for asking about sexual side effects of treatment?
T2b: How do you suggest that patients bring up the topic if their doctor doesn’t?
T3: What works? What are some evidence-based practices that help patients manage these symptoms?
T4: How can patient advocates help? Can they play a role at increasing awareness so that more attention and research funding is provided?
Please join us for an educational and interactive discussion!