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Social and sexual health of thyroid cancer survivors 2 and 5 years after diagnosis: the VICAN survey

Abstract : Purpose: Thyroid cancer (TC) incidence is increasing. With its good prognosis and the young population concerned, the number of survivors is rising. However, their quality of life appears worse than expected. This study aims to assess the social and sexual health (SSH) of TC survivors and associated factors after a 2- and 5-year follow-up. Methods: This study belongs to the National VICAN Survey implemented in France among TC patients diagnosed between January and June 2010. Data were collected via phone interviews, medical surveys, and from medico-administrative register in 2012 and 2015. We used multivariable logistic regressions to qualify TC impact on SSH. Results: Across 146 patients, 121 were women, 50.7% were less than 42 years old, 77.5% were diagnosed at an early-stage, and 97.6% underwent thyroidectomy. At 2 years, 60.0% experienced social life discomfort because of cancer, 40.6% reported a decreased sexual desire, 37.4% fewer intercourse, 31.9% felt dissatisfied with this frequency, 30% reported difficulties achieving orgasm, and 15.2% considered that cancer had a negative influence for procreation. No significant difference was observed at 5 years. SSH was never discussed with medical professionals for 96.7% patients, as it was not proposed as a topic of concern (79.1%). In multivariable analysis, depression, embarrassment regarding their physical appearance since treatment, and reduced gestures of affection remained associated with decreased sexual desire. Conclusion: This study highlights that TC is associated with an alteration of SSH which remains even at 5 years post-diagnosis. SSH should be discussed during diagnosis and considered during follow-up.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03647650
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 5:01:35 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 3:37:51 AM

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Gwenaelle Creff, Franck Jegoux, Marc Karim Bendiane, Emmanuel Babin, Idlir Licaj. Social and sexual health of thyroid cancer survivors 2 and 5 years after diagnosis: the VICAN survey. Supportive Care in Cancer, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2022, 30 (3), pp.2777-2785. ⟨10.1007/s00520-021-06715-7⟩. ⟨inserm-03647650⟩

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