- Publication of new guidelines in The Journal of Sexual Medicine represents a significant ‘moment of change’ in prostate cancer care, where sexual dysfunction is the most reported health-related quality of life outcome and greatest unmet need
- The evidence and clinical expertise-based, biopsychosocial framework, authored by an international expert panel, has been informed by 25 years of scientific research and the expert perspectives of 37 clinicians, researchers and prostate cancer survivors and their partners
- The guidelines promote openness and inclusivity, encouraging healthcare professionals to consider cultural context and provide tailored care to enhance sexual health and quality of life for every patient
MELBOURNE, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CancerCare–New clinical practice guidelines were launched today, generated through the collaboration of a 37-member international panel of experts across 14 countries with analysis of 25 years of scientific research, which has led to the introduction of a new standard of excellence for sexual health care in prostate cancer.
The Guidelines for Sexual Health Care for Prostate Cancer Patients: Recommendations of an International Panel provide a first of its kind evidence and expert opinion-based framework that is inclusive for all prostate cancer survivors who have undertaken treatment and their partners. Published following a thorough peer review process in The Journal of Sexual Medicine and developed with support from the leading men’s health charity Movember, the guidelines will support clinicians to assess and manage the sexual side effects of prostate cancer therapies and facilitate shared decision-making between clinicians, patients and their partners.
Prostate cancer therapies can negatively impact patients’ sexual function; this can lead to changes in their relationship with their partner and remains the most reported unmet care need. Reliable information or support is not always available, contributing to distress and relationship breakdowns.
Lead Guidelines Author, Daniela Wittmann, PhD, MSW, Certified Sex Therapist and Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Michigan, said: “These guidelines were informed not only by evidence, but also by listening to people with prostate cancer and their partners. Addressing sexual health is the responsibility of every clinician of every discipline who touches the life of a prostate cancer patient. Now we have an inclusive roadmap that will allow healthcare providers to address the needs of their patients. By understanding the fact that many prostate cancer patients live long lives, some with partners, requires us to help protect and enhance the quality of their lives in survivorship. By including sexual health as a part of usual care, we will be responding to significant unmet needs and achieve a new standard of care.”
Across the world, 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, with almost 10 million living with or beyond the disease.1 Through a global collaboration of sexual health clinicians, researchers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, social workers, and prostate cancer survivors and their partners, 47 statements and recommendations provide clinicians with a framework to address sexual health challenges in prostate cancer. The framework aims to summarise the evidence, enable clinicians to empower patients and increase their preparedness to initiate sensitive conversations about sexual concerns. Through a biopsychosocial perspective, the guidelines emphasise the importance of tailoring counselling to the cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual and gender needs of individual prostate cancer patients and their partners.
Kellie Paich, MPH, Global Director, Clinical Quality and Survivorship at Movember, said: “Historically the delivery of sexual health care services for people with prostate cancer has been neither sufficient nor inclusive. Understanding how societal and cultural norms, help-seeking behaviours and the social determinants of health may influence an individual person — or an entire community — is essential to understanding how to shape their care.”
“Movember takes our responsibility to be the voice of those we serve seriously. We know that sex remains an important part of life for many people living with prostate cancer and their partners, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual preference or gender identity. By uniting healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive, inclusive, multi-disciplinary care, we can begin to transform sexual health care in prostate cancer.”
About Guidelines for Sexual Health Care for Prostate Cancer Patients: Recommendations by an International Panel
Informed by 25 years of scientific literature and research, the guidelines provide an evidence and expert opinion-based framework for sexual health care in prostate cancer. The framework helps clinicians to assess and manage the sexual side effects of prostate cancer therapies, facilitate shared decision-making, and increase their preparedness to initiate sensitive, inclusive conversations about sexual concerns with prostate cancer patients and their partners.
The guidelines were created through the collaboration of an international panel of 37 sexual health clinicians, researchers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, social workers, and prostate cancer survivors and their partners. They were created in the context of Movember’s ongoing work in the area of sexual health and wellbeing for men living with prostate cancer.
The guidelines were first published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in September 2022 and were published fully in October. To read the guidelines in full, please visit Movember.com/sexualhealthguideline.
Movember is the leading global charity changing the face of men’s health. We exist to stop men dying too young by tackling some of the most complex health issues facing men today – mental health, suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
What started as a single-minded fundraising and awareness campaign in 2003 has evolved into a multi-faceted health organisation with programs accessed by millions worldwide.
With global support from our Mo Bros, Mo Sisters and Mo community, Movember funds and delivers biomedical research, cancer survivorship programs, innovative community mental health programs and digital health products that work for men.
To find out more about the important work Movember are doing to support the prostate cancer community, visit the Movember True North Website. True North is a global prostate cancer programme, proudly funded by Movember, that aims support and guide people living with prostate cancer through every step of their journey.
1 Data Source: Global Burden of Disease, Date Accessed: 2021-11-29, Dataset Name: NA, Data Source Link: http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool
Notes to Editor:
Senior Lead, Social Impact Campaigns, Movember
Senior Account Director, Aurora Healthcare Communications