-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women
treated for breast cancer with drugs known as aromatase inhibitors
have high rates of sexual problems, which is an important and
underestimated issue, according to a new study from Sweden.
Nearly three-quarters of these women reported insufficient
lubrication, 56 percent had pain during intercourse, half said
their sexual interest was low, and 42 percent were dissatisfied
with their sex life.
These percentages are much higher than for postmenopausal women
who weren't treated for beast cancer, according to researchers Dr.
Juliane Baumgart and colleagues at Orebro University and Uppsala
The study was published online this month in
Menopauseand appears in the February 2013 print issue of the
Women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment also had low
sexual interest and more pain with intercourse, but had far fewer
problems than women taking aromatase inhibitors, the study
Aromatase inhibitors block formation of estrogen from other
hormones in the body. This may help prevent breast cancer
recurrence and improve survival, the researchers explained in a
journal news release.
However, there is a lack of effective treatment for the sexual
side effects of aromatase inhibitors. Further research is needed to
learn more about the causes and impact of these side effects in
order to improve breast cancer survivors' quality of life, the
While the study found an association between this class of drugs
and sexual problems, it did not prove a cause-and-effect
The American Cancer Society has more about
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