Menopause and Breast Cancer Survivors

menopause and breast cancer

Recently a study was done to evaluate the changes in sexual function of breast cancer survivors who also were experiencing genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) after they had received fractional CO2 laser therapy. The study results were published in Menopause.

Let’s break down the meanings of GSM and fractional CO2 laser therapy for a better understanding.

GSM (Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause)

During menopause levels of estrogen decrease often resulting in the skin of the vagina and vulva becoming thinner. Once referred to as vaginal atrophy, it is now referred to with the broader term of GSM. GSM’s most common symptom is vaginal or vulvar dryness and loss of elasticity. This lack of lubrication causes pain during intercourse and can even result in the tearing of flesh. GSM can also result in risks of urinary infections.

Fractional CO2 Laser Therapy

Fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are on the cutting edge of non-surgical rejuvenation treatments. This treatment has been typically used to improve skin texture and decrease wrinkles and discoloration of the skin. The laser treats both the superficial and deeper skin layers at the same time and is effective in treating the collagen of the dermis.

The Study

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the fractional CO2 laser therapy on GSM in breast cancer survivors. 50 patients, mean aged 53.3 years, participated in the study with very promising results. The majority of the patients were satisfied and reported no adverse effects. The study concluded that the treatment was feasible and effective.