177 research outputs found

    The impact of vaginal laser treatment for genitourinary syndrome of menopause in breast cancer survivors : a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Introduction Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is caused by hypo-estrogenism, resulting in vaginal dryness, pain, dyspareunia, and urinary tract infection. It is more severe and common in breast cancer (BC) survivors owing to the severity of induced menopause following treatment (ie, chemotherapy, GnRH agonists/anti-estrogen therapy). It has a detrimental effect on quality of life. The gold standard therapy is topical estrogen, which is highly effective; however, it is contraindicated in patients with BC owing to concerns with recurrence. Recently, vaginal laser therapy has been used to restore vaginal mucosal thickness, lubrication, and elasticity with good effect in menopausal women with GSM. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of vaginal laser therapy on BC-associated GSM. Materials and Methods This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis. Results A total of 48 papers were identified, revealing 10 observational studies of GSM symptoms before and after vaginal laser therapy with no randomized trials. Vaginal laser was effective in treating GSM in BC survivors with improvement in the Vaginal Health Index and the Visual Analogue Scale score for dyspareunia and vaginal dryness, sexual function, and overall satisfaction in the short term with minimal adverse events. Conclusion Vaginal laser may be effective in treating GSM in BC survivors in the short term, but there are no long-term data on safety and efficacy. More research is needed looking at longer term follow-up, health economic costs, and sub-group analysis as well as the complex interplay between GSM and the other negative impacts of BC therapy on intimate relationships

    An Overview of Vulvovaginal Atrophy‑Related Sexual Dysfunction in Postmenopausal Women

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    Menopause and the climacteric period are associated with adverse risk factors for the development of vulvovaginal atrophyrelated sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction is a common problem in postmenopausal women, often underdiagnosed, inadequately treated, frequently overlooked, and most often impairing the quality of life of these women. To provide clinicians with current information on vulvovaginal atrophy‑related sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. This study is a literature review on vulvovaginal atrophy‑related sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Relevant publications were identified through a search of PubMed and Medline, selected references, journals, and textbooks on this topic, and were included in the review. The prevalence of female sexual dysfunction increases with age. It is a common multidimensional problem for postmenopausal women that alter the physiological, biochemical, psychological, and sociocultural environment of a woman. Menopause‑related sexual dysfunction may not be reversible without therapy. Estrogen therapy is the most effective option and is the current standard of care for vulvovaginal atrophy‑related sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. Sexual dysfunction is a common multidimensional problem for postmenopausal women and often impairs the quality of life of these women. Estrogen preparations are the most effective treatment. Selective estrogen receptor modulators, vaginal dehydroepiandrostenedione, vaginal testosterone, and tissue‑selective estrogen complexes are promising therapies, but further studies are required to confirm their role, efficacy, and safety.Keywords: Estrogen, postmenopausal women, sexual dysfunction, vulvo‑vagina

    Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) in breast cancer survivors (BCS) is still an unmet medical need: results of an Italian Delphi Panel

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    Abstract: Purpose: VVA is a common disease, with approximately 50% of all postmenopausal women having related symptoms. VVA has a significant impact on the personal and sexual lives and on many aspects of women\u2019s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It is particularly frequent and severe in patients treated for BC, where it originates significant economic and social costs. Given the lack of published evidence on this subject, a Delphi Panel was carried out to evaluate:The epidemiology of VVA and of its risk-factors/comorbidities in ItalyThe present standard of care and unmet medical needsThe comparison between recent US epidemiological data and the Italian situationThe health resources used in VVA BC The burden of illnessDespite the considerable negative impact on quality of life, a disparity between the high prevalence of this condition and the infrequent clinical diagnosis is documented in medical practice and in surveys. This inaccuracy is thought to be primarily a consequence of patients\u2019 unwillingness and/or reluctance to report symptoms in the clinical setting and of health-care professional\u2019s difficulty in approaching this sensitive topic during routine consultations. Methods: A Delphi Panel methodology was used: a first round of written questionnaires, followed by a plenary meeting with a facilitator and by two additional rounds of telephone interviews. Results: The prevalence of the condition in Italy can be estimated in 115,000 cases out of 380,000 BC survivors. The Panel confirmed that the epidemiological findings of a recent pharmacoeconomic analysis of a US claims database can be applied to Italian patient population. The Panel confirmed also an estimate of 4.25 additional cases/100/yr of UTI (urinary tract infection) in VVA BC patients (vs. a non-VVA-matched population), of 3.68 additional cases of vulvovaginitis, of 6.97 cases of climacteric symptoms, and of 3.64 cases of bone and joint disorders. As far as the resource use is concerned, in the VVA BC populations, 33.4 additional gynecological visits/100/year can be expected, along with 22.8 additional cancer screenings, 7.07 additional outpatient visits and 5.04 screenings for HPV. Conclusions: Even in Italy, a diagnosis of VVA, especially in a BC population, is associated with a relevant increase in the burden of illness and social costs, compared to a control population matched for age without VVA. This is due essentially to an increase in comorbidities and resource utilization with the consequence that an adequate treatment could reduce the impact of the condition

    A clinical guide to the management of genitourinary symptoms in breast cancer survivors on endocrine therapy.

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    There is increasing attention and concern about managing the adverse effects of adjuvant endocrine therapy for women with early breast cancer as the side effects of therapy influence compliance and can impair quality of life (QoL). Most side effects associated with tamoxifen (TAM) and aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are directly related to estrogen deprivation, and the symptoms are similar to those experienced during natural menopause but appear to be more severe than that seen in the general population. Prolonged estrogen deprivation may lead to atrophy of the vulva, vagina, lower urinary tract and supporting pelvic structures, resulting in a range of genitourinary symptoms that can in turn lead to pain, discomfort, impairment of sexual function and negatively impact on multiple domains of QoL. The genitourinary side effects may be prevented, reduced and managed in most cases but this requires early recognition and appropriate treatment. We provide an overview of practical clinical approaches to understanding the pathophysiology and the management of genitourinary symptoms in postmenopausal women receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer

    Vaginal atrophy in breast cancer survivors: attitude and approaches among oncologists

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    Abstract Background Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is a relevant problem for breast cancer survivors (BCSs), in particular for those who receive aromatase inhibitors (AIs). We conducted a survey, to assess the attitude of oncologists toward the diagnosis and treatment of VVA in BCSs. Materials and Methods In 2015, 120 computer-assisted Web interviews were performed among breast oncologists. Results According to oncologists' perceptions, 60% of postmenopausal BCSs and 39.4% of premenopausal BCSs will suffer from VVA. Despite that none of the physicians considered VVA as a transient event or a secondary problem in BCSs, only half of the oncologists (48%) directly illustrated VVA to the patients as a possible consequence. Forty-one percent of the oncologists refer BCSs to gynaecologist to define VVA treatment, whereas 35.1% manages it alone. Nonhormonal treatments are preferred by most oncologists (71%). The main reason not to prescribe vaginal estrogen therapy in BCSs is the fear of increased cancer recurrence, the possible interference with tamoxifen, or AIs and the fear of medical litigation. Conclusion VVA is a relevant problem for BCSs. Great effort should be done to correctly inform health care providers about VVA problems and on the different possible available treatments

    Efficacy and safety of ultra-low dose 0.005% estriol vaginal gel for the treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer treated with nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors: a phase II, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

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    Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of ultra-low dose 0.005% estriol vaginal gel in women with breast cancer receiving nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors (NSAIs) and experiencing treatment-related vulvovaginal symptoms and signs. Methods: Women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer receiving NSAIs were randomized to either estriol vaginal gel or placebo for 12 weeks. Vaginal maturation, vaginal pH, and total and individual scores of symptoms and signs of vulvovaginal atrophy were assessed at baseline and at weeks 3 and 12; sexual functioning was also evaluated using the Female Sexual Functioning Index (FSFI) questionnaire, as well as circulating estrogens, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Results: Sixty-one women with a mean age of 59 years were included: 50 received 0.005% estriol vaginal gel and 11 received placebo. Active treatment significantly improved maturation value and pH, vaginal dryness and global scores of symptoms and signs. Active treatment also increased the total FSFI score and all the FSFI domains, with the exception of pain. Small oscillations were observed in FSH and LH, which remained within the postmenopausal range. Estriol levels increased initially and normalized by week 12, and estradiol and estrone remained mostly undetectable throughout the study. Conclusions: Ultra-low dose 0.005% estriol vaginal gel showed efficacy in improving the symptoms and signs of vulvovaginal atrophy. These results, together with minimal oscillations in hormonal levels throughout the treatment, support the use of ultra-low dose 0.005% estriol vaginal gel as a treatment option for vulvovaginal atrophy in women with breast cancer receiving NSAIs with an indication for treatment with vaginal estrogens

    Vaginal Health in Menopausal Women

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    The aim of this review is to provide an overview of genitourinary health in peri- and postmenopause, particularly of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), which is part of genitourinary syndrome (GSM). This condition has a high prevalence among post-menopausal women and negatively affects a woman's quality of life. Epidemiology, signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria of VVA and target treatments for restoring vaginal health are discussed in light of the most recent literature. Issues related to this condition in menopausal women are under-diagnosed, lack objective diagnostic criteria, and consequently under-treated. Over the years, many treatments have been developed but their long-term effectiveness and safety have yet to be clearly defined. Patients are often dissatisfied and stop treatment, suggesting the need for a more personalized and tailored approach to achieve better compliance and thereby effectiveness. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the most recent literature on VVA in order to help the gynecologist in the management of this condition

    Fractional COâ‚‚ vaginal laser for the genitourinary syndrome of menopause in breast cancer survivors.

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    Adjuvant chemotherapy and endocrine therapy can induce early iatrogenic menopause or worsen pre-existing menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors (BCS). The second most frequent menopausal symptom after hot flushes is the genitourinary syndrome (GSM). Since hormone replacement therapy is contraindicated in BCS, vaginal laser might represent a new nonhormonal option for GSM. This study aims at evaluating the effectiveness of the fractional COâ‚‚ vaginal laser for GSM in BCS compared with healthy women. This is a retrospective study on 135 postmenopausal women (45 BCS and 90 healthy women) who underwent fractional CO2 laser for GSM. Objective (VHI and VVHI) and subjective outcomes (VAS for dyspareunia and vaginal dryness and a pain questionnaire) were evaluated at baseline visit and at every follow-up visit. Subjective and objective parameters improved significantly in both groups after laser therapy. The improvement was progressive and long-lasting up to 12 months after the end of the treatment. No severe adverse events were observed during the treatment. Fractional COâ‚‚ vaginal laser induces a significant and long-lasting improvement on GSM symptoms in BCS. However, this improvement is slower than in healthy women undergoing the same treatment. Laser therapy turns out to be safe and well-tolerated

    Managing menopausal symptoms and associated clinical issues in breast cancer survivors

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    Objective: Review evidence to guide management of menopausal signs and symptoms in women after breast cancer and make recommendations accordingly. Evidence: Randomized controlled clinical trials, observational studies, evidence-based guidelines, and expert opinion from professional societies. Background: Symptoms and clinical problems associated with estrogen depletion—sleep disorders, vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), vasomotor symptoms (VMS), mood changes, depressive symptoms, cardiovascular disease, osteopenia, and osteoporosis—confront the estimated 9.3 million breast cancer survivors globally. Recommendations: Following breast cancer, women should not generally be treated with menopausal hormone therapy or tibolone but should optimize lifestyle. Women with moderate to severe symptoms may benefit from mind–brain behavior or nonhormone, pharmacologic therapy. The selective serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors and gabapentenoid agents improve VMS and quality of life. For osteoporosis, nonhormonal agents are available. Treatment of VVA remains an area of unmet need. Low-dose vaginal estrogen is absorbed in small amounts with blood levels remaining within the normal postmenopausal range but could potentially stimulate occult breast cancer cells, and although poorly studied, is not generally advised, particularly for those on aromatase inhibitors. Intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone and oral ospemiphene have been approved to treat dyspareunia, but safety after breast cancer has not been established. Vaginal laser therapy is being used for VVA but efficacy from sham-controlled studies is lacking. Therapies undergoing development include lasofoxifene, neurokinin B inhibitors, stellate ganglion blockade, vaginal testosterone, and estetrol. Conclusions: Nonhormone options and therapies are available for treatment of estrogen depletion symptoms and clinical problems after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Individualization of treatment is essential

    Treatment of symptoms of the menopause: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline

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    Objective: The objective of this document is to generate a practice guideline for the management and treatment of symptoms of the menopause. Participants: The Treatment of Symptoms of the Menopause Task Force included six experts, a methodologist, and a medical writer, all appointed by The Endocrine Society. Evidence: The Task Force developed this evidenced-based guideline using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system to describe the strength of recommendations and the quality of evidence. The Task Force commissioned three systematic reviews of published data and considered several other existing meta-analyses and trials. Consensus Process: Multiple e-mail communications, conference calls, and one face-to-face meeting determined consensus. Committees of The Endocrine Society, representatives from endorsing societies, and members of The Endocrine Society reviewed and commented on the drafts of the guidelines. The Australasian Menopause Society, the British Menopause Society, European Menopause and Andropause Society, the European Society of Endocrinology, and the International Menopause Society (co-sponsors of the guideline) reviewed and commented on the draft. Conclusions: Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms and other symptoms of the climacteric. Benefits may exceed risks for the majority of symptomatic postmenopausal women who are under age 60 or under 10 years since the onset of menopause. Health care professionals should individualize therapy based on clinical factors and patient preference. They should screen women before initiating MHT for cardiovascular and breast cancer risk and recommend the most appropriate therapy depending on risk/benefit considerations. Current evidence does not justify the use of MHT to prevent coronary heart disease, breast cancer, or dementia. Other options are available for those with vasomotor symptoms who prefer not to use MHT or who have contraindications because these patients should not use MHT. Low-dose vaginal estrogen and ospemifene provide effective therapy for the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, and vaginal moisturizers and lubricants are available for those not choosing hormonal therapy. All postmenopausal women should embrace appropriate lifestyle measures
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