Introduction: Radiotherapy is the main modality in the management of cervix cancer. Sexual functions are affected due to post radiotherapy vaginal stenosis and reduced mucosal secretion after radiotherapy.
Purpose of the study was to compare Sexual functioning and quality of life in cervical cancer survivors treated with either surgery or radiotherapy.
Methods: Women coming to department of radiotherapy from September 2011 to march 2013 were interviewed at least 1 year after initial treatment for cervical cancer. Eligible women had squamous cell tumors FIGO I&II at diagnosis, were currently disease-free, and had either undergone surgery or radiotherapy, but not both. The two treatment groups were then compared using univariate analysis and multivariate linear regression with a control group of age- and race-matched women with no history of cancer. Total 105 women were selected, Patients consent &institutional approval was taken
Results: Total 105 women (35 surgeries, 35 radiotherapies, 35 controls) were included for analysis. When compared using EORTC QLQ-CX24 Questionnaire with surgery patients and controls, radiation patients had significantly poorer scores on standardized questionnaires measuring health-related quality of life (physical and mental health), and sexual functioning. The disparity in sexual function remained significant in radiation patients. There were no significant differences between radical hysterectomy patients and controls on outcome measures.
Conclusion: Cervical cancer survivors treated with radiotherapy had worse sexual functioning than did those treated with radical hysterectomy and lymph node dissection. Appropriate measures like Pelvic exercises, Yoga, vaginal dilators, vaginal cream should be used to decrease radiotherapy related side effects on sexual functioning. Cervical cancer survivors treated with surgery alone can expect overall quality of life and sexual function not unlike that of peers without a history of cancer.
Carcinoma cervix, radiotherapy, quality of life.