June 9, 2023 2:23 am

Breast cancer treatment options that can save a woman’s life can seriously harm her sexual overall health, says Dr. Kristin E. Rojas, a breast cancer surgeon at Sylvester Complete Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller College of Medicine. Even though medical doctors have not historically been ready to support individuals handle these toxic side effects, Rojas is major efforts to turn the tide.

Rojas, each a fellowship-educated breast surgical oncologist and a gynecologic surgeon, is a national leader in treating sexual dysfunction in female individuals undergoing cancer remedy. Other, extra broadly recognized side effects of lifesaving estrogen-blocking drugs – also identified as endocrine therapy – incorporate challenges with pregnancy organizing for premenopausal individuals and lowered bone mineralization. According to Rojas, all 3 of these subjects really should be addressed as early as achievable when organizing a course of therapy for a breast cancer patient with an estrogen-sensitive tumor.

Rojas will determine dangers posed by endocrine therapies, define symptoms and go over remedy selections in a presentation at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

“By employing endocrine therapy to treat hormone-good breast cancers, we’re placing several young girls into menopause, but we’re not carrying out a excellent job preparing them for it,” mentioned Rojas, who designed a plan to address women’s sexual overall health immediately after cancer remedy, the Menopause Urogenital Sexual Well being and Intimacy Clinic (MUSIC) at Sylvester. Faced with unexpectedly higher demand, the clinic required to expand quickly immediately after opening in 2020. Considering that Rojas expanded the plan by instruction extra specialists to accommodate this excellent want, the MUSIC plan has turn into a prototype for equivalent applications across the nation. It remains the only women’s oncology-focused sexual overall health plan led by a dual-educated surgeon in the United States.

Individuals are generally hesitant to bring up sexual overall health troubles with their providers, and that is why we designed this groundbreaking plan exactly where individuals can openly go over these troubles in a one particular-on-one particular survivorship plan. If we never address these popular issues knowledgeable by extra than 80% of female survivors of cancer, patient adherence to endocrine remedy decreases, and the progress we have created in enhancing breast cancer survival is impeded.”

Kristin E. Rojas, breast cancer surgeon at Sylvester Complete Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller College of Medicine

Rojas’ ASCO presentation will support providers anticipate and treat the most popular side effects knowledgeable by individuals on endocrine therapy (or estrogen-blocking drugs), formulate a customized remedy strategy, guide individuals toward proof-primarily based practices and away from potentially damaging “fringe” therapies, and troubleshoot popular pitfalls encountered in the remedy of menopausal symptoms.

Amongst distinct subjects:

  • Hot flashes – causes, triggers and treatment options.
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sex – causes, irritants, and alterations to the vaginal microbiome.
  • Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) – causes, treatment options, lubricants, devices and medication selections.
  • Merchandise, “therapies” and devices to steer clear of.
  • Infertility danger and selections for fertility preservation.
  • Decreased bone mineralization and enhanced fracture danger – monitoring and prevention tactics.

Rojas’ presentation is aspect of a session she will chair: “A Juggling Act: Managing the Toxicity of Estrogen Deprivation for Individuals With Breast Cancer,” Education Session E451. It will start at eight a.m. June five, 2023 (CDT), aspect of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.


University of Miami Well being Method, Miller College of Medicine

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