Sexual function in adolescent and young adult survivors of lower extremity bone tumors
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BACKGROUND: Improving survival rates and new surgical options have led to increased interest regarding late effects and quality of life in adolescent and young adult survivors of bone cancers, including their sexual functioning. This study investigated sexual functioning in adolescent and young adult survivors of lower limb bone tumors, in relation to surgical treatments, gender differences, depressive symptoms, global self worth, and physical disability. PROCEDURE: Twenty-eight participants (age range 18-32 years) completed measures of gender specific sexual function, depressive symptoms, global self worth, and physical disability. For analysis, surgical intervention was grouped into limb sparing surgeries (LS; allograft fusion and endoprosthesis) and amputation or Van Nes rotationplasty (AMP). RESULTS: Male survivors reported significantly higher scores than females on total sexual function scores (P = 0.050), sexual drive (P = 0.002), and frequency of sexual thoughts, fantasies or erotic dreams (P = 0.021). Men also reported significantly better physical functioning scores than women (P = 0.012). LS scored significantly lower on frequency of sexual thoughts, fantasies and erotic dreams (P = 0.048) and frequency of sexual experiences (P = 0.016) compared with AMP. In addition, LS reported significantly more depressive symptoms scores (P = 0.004) and lower self worth scores (P = 0.037), than AMP. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that male survivors of lower extremity bone tumors experience better sexual functioning than women. Survivors of limb sparing surgeries struggle with sexual function, depressive symptoms, and poor self-perception compared to Van Nes rotationplasty and amputation survivors.
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