Sexual Aids and Resources Not Readily Available at Cancer Centers

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Of centers polled, 87 and 72 percent reported having no sexual aids for men and women, respectively.
Of centers polled, 87 and 72 percent reported having no sexual aids for men and women, respectively.

(HealthDay News) -- The availability of therapeutic sexual aids and resources at major cancer centers is very low, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Cancer Survivorship Symposium, held from Feb. 16 to 17 in Orlando, Fla.

Sharon Bober, Ph.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues surveyed 25 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers about the availability of sexual aids and resources for survivors. Retail staff were approached by phone at each center; separate calls were made regarding aids for men and women.

Twenty-three of the centers responded about men and 22 about women; two centers did not respond to multiple attempts. The researchers found that 87 and 72 percent of the centers reported having no sexual aids for men and women, respectively. One center carried a vacuum device and two had penile support rings; some aids for women were found at six centers, mostly personal lubricants, moisturizers, and dilators. Several types of aids were identified for men and women at one center, which stood out. Additional recommendations were to look in a local pharmacy or search the internet.

"By and large, medical professionals do not regularly talk about sexual health, and we know that distressing problems are not consistently addressed," Bober said in a statement. "We need to normalize these conversations, and providing sexual aids is one step toward treating sexual health like any other aspect of survivorship care."

One author disclosed financial ties to Apex Neuro.

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