Breast most cancers therapies that may save a girl’s life can significantly hurt her sexual well being, says Dr. Kristin E. Rojas, a breast most cancers surgeon at Sylvester Complete Most cancers Middle on the College of Miami Miller Faculty of Drugs. Though medical doctors haven’t traditionally been ready to assist sufferers handle these poisonous unintended effects, Rojas is main efforts to show the tide.
Rojas, each a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist and a gynecologic surgeon, is a nationwide chief in treating sexual dysfunction in feminine sufferers present process most cancers remedy. Different, extra broadly acknowledged unintended effects of lifesaving estrogen-blocking medicines – also called endocrine remedy – embody challenges with being pregnant planning for premenopausal sufferers and diminished bone mineralization. In response to Rojas, all three of those topics ought to be addressed as early as attainable when planning a course of remedy for a breast most cancers affected person with an estrogen-sensitive tumor.
Rojas will establish dangers posed by endocrine therapies, outline signs and talk about remedy choices in a presentation on the 2023 ASCO Annual Assembly in Chicago.
“Through the use of endocrine remedy to deal with hormone-positive breast cancers, we’re placing many younger girls into menopause, however we’re not doing a fantastic job making ready them for it,” mentioned Rojas, who created a program to handle girls’s sexual well being after most cancers remedy, the Menopause Urogenital Sexual Well being and Intimacy Clinic (MUSIC) at Sylvester. Confronted with unexpectedly excessive demand, the clinic wanted to increase quickly after opening in 2020. Since Rojas expanded this system by coaching extra consultants to accommodate this nice want, the MUSIC program has change into a prototype for comparable applications throughout the nation. It stays the one girls’s oncology-focused sexual well being program led by a dual-trained surgeon in the US.
Sufferers are sometimes hesitant to convey up sexual well being points with their suppliers, and that is why we created this groundbreaking program the place sufferers can brazenly talk about these points in a one-on-one survivorship program. If we do not tackle these frequent considerations skilled by greater than 80% of feminine survivors of most cancers, affected person adherence to endocrine remedy decreases, and the progress we’ve made in enhancing breast most cancers survival is impeded.”
Kristin E. Rojas, breast most cancers surgeon at Sylvester Complete Most cancers Middle on the College of Miami Miller Faculty of Drugs
Rojas’ ASCO presentation will assist suppliers anticipate and deal with the commonest unintended effects skilled by sufferers on endocrine remedy (or estrogen-blocking medicines), formulate a customized remedy plan, information sufferers towards evidence-based practices and away from probably dangerous “fringe” therapies, and troubleshoot frequent pitfalls encountered within the remedy of menopausal signs.
Amongst particular subjects:
- Scorching flashes – causes, triggers and coverings.
- Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse – causes, irritants, and adjustments to the vaginal microbiome.
- Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) – causes, therapies, lubricants, units and medicine choices.
- Merchandise, “therapies” and units to keep away from.
- Infertility danger and choices for fertility preservation.
- Diminished bone mineralization and elevated fracture danger – monitoring and prevention methods.
Rojas’ presentation is a part of a session she is going to chair: “A Juggling Act: Managing the Toxicity of Estrogen Deprivation for Sufferers With Breast Most cancers,” Schooling Session E451. It would start at 8 a.m. June 5, 2023 (CDT), a part of the annual assembly of the American Society of Medical Oncology.
College of Miami Well being System, Miller Faculty of Drugs