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Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, discusses potential challenges for patients with gynecologic cancers.
Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, head, Women's Cancers, Lifespan Cancer Institute, director, Medical Oncology, Rhode Island Hospital, associate professor of medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, discusses potential challenges for patients with gynecologic cancers.
The issues that can arise for women with gynecologic cancers are similar to those for women and men with breast cancer, says Dizon. Women who undergo mastectomy may develop feelings of defeminization. Similarly, women with gynecologic cancers who have their ovaries or uterus removed may experience issues with body image.
Additionally, pelvic radiation can lead to adverse events that can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life, explains Dizon. For example, agglutination may result from radiation to the vagina and scarring could lead to permanent closure of the vagina.
While surgical intervention is possible, residual pain or trauma during intercourse can be a chronic challenge to manage, concludes Dizon.