Breast most cancers therapies that may save a girl’s life can critically hurt her sexual well being, says Dr. Kristin E. Rojas, a breast most cancers surgeon at Sylvester Complete Most cancers Heart on the College of Miami Miller Faculty of Medication. Though medical doctors haven’t traditionally been ready to assist sufferers handle these poisonous uncomfortable side 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 uncomfortable side effects of lifesaving estrogen-blocking drugs – often known as endocrine remedy – embrace challenges with being pregnant planning for premenopausal sufferers and diminished bone mineralization. In accordance with Rojas, all three of those topics must be addressed as early as doable 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 focus on 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 ladies into menopause, however we’re not doing a terrific job making ready them for it,” mentioned Rojas, who created a program to deal with ladies’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 develop quickly after opening in 2020. Since Rojas expanded this system by coaching extra specialists to accommodate this nice want, the MUSIC program has grow to be a prototype for comparable packages throughout the nation. It stays the one ladies’s oncology-focused sexual well being program led by a dual-trained surgeon in the USA.

Sufferers are sometimes hesitant to deliver up sexual well being points with their suppliers, and that is why we created this groundbreaking program the place sufferers can overtly focus on these points in a one-on-one survivorship program. If we do not tackle these frequent issues skilled by greater than 80% of feminine survivors of most cancers, affected person adherence to endocrine remedy decreases, and the progress we’ve got made in bettering breast most cancers survival is impeded.”

Kristin E. Rojas, breast most cancers surgeon at Sylvester Complete Most cancers Heart on the College of Miami Miller Faculty of Medication

Rojas’ ASCO presentation will assist suppliers anticipate and deal with the most typical uncomfortable side effects skilled by sufferers on endocrine remedy (or estrogen-blocking drugs), 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 matters:

  • Sizzling 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, gadgets and drugs choices.
  • Merchandise, “therapies” and gadgets to keep away from.
  • Infertility threat and choices for fertility preservation.
  • Diminished bone mineralization and elevated fracture threat – monitoring and prevention methods.

Rojas’ presentation is a part of a session she’s going to chair: “A Juggling Act: Managing the Toxicity of Estrogen Deprivation for Sufferers With Breast Most cancers,” Schooling Session E451. It’ll start at 8 a.m. June 5, 2023 (CDT), a part of the annual assembly of the American Society of Scientific Oncology.


College of Miami Well being System, Miller Faculty of Medication

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