Sexual Function in a Nationwide Cohort of 2,260 Survivors of Testicular Cancer after 17 Years of Followup

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Abstract

Purpose:

Evidence on the long-term impact of testicular cancer treatment on sexual function is not clear. Our aim was to estimate the effect of testicular cancer treatment on the risk of sexual dysfunction in long-term survivors of testicular cancer.

Materials and Methods:

We performed a cross-sectional study of 2,260 long-term survivors of testicular cancer with a median followup of 17 years (IQR 12–24), including 1,098 who underwent orchiectomy alone (surveillance), 788 treated with bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin alone or post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal surgery, 300 treated with abdominal radiotherapy and 74 who received more than 1 line of treatment. Sexual function was evaluated by the IIEF-15 (International Index of Erectile Function-15) questionnaire. Results were compared between treatment groups using logistic regression analysis with the results on each of the 5 IIEF-15 dimensions as the outcome and treatment as exposure using surveillance as the referent.

Results:

The risk of erectile dysfunction was increased in all treatment groups compared to surveillance, including bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin alone (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0–2.1, p <0.05), bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin with post-chemotherapy surgery (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.4, p <0.005), radiotherapy (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1–2.5, p <0.05) and more than 1 line of treatment (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.6–6.3, p <0.005). Orgasmic dysfunction was associated with radiotherapy, bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin with post-chemotherapy surgery and more than 1 line of treatment.

Conclusions:

Treatment with bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin, radiotherapy and more than 1 treatment line increased the risk of erectile dysfunction in long-term survivors of testicular cancer compared to surveillance. Patients should be informed about this as part of the information on treatment related late effects.

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