The Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer
Letter from the Editor
Greetings from the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer! This is our first newsletter since Dr. Shari Goldfarb has been elected to serve as Chair of the Scientific Network. It is an exciting time for Dr. Goldfarb, and we congratulate her both on her election to this new leadership role as well on the birth of her second son. We are thrilled to see what Dr. Goldfarb will bring to her role and to the future directions for the Network!

We want to thank Dr. Jeanne Carter for the incredible work she has done over the past two years in her role as Chair of the Network. Dr. Carter will continue to serve on the leadership team as Immediate Past Chair. We are grateful to have her continued leadership as we move into this exciting next phase in the growth and development of the Network.

We also congratulate Dr. Sharon Bober, who is our new Chair Elect. Dr. Anuja Jhingran continues her role as Treasurer, and I am excited to join the leadership team in the role of Vice Chair/Secretary.

The Conference Planning Committee is hard at work planning the 7th Conference of the Scientific Network. Read more about the conference and our pre-conference CME Course in this Newsletter and mark your calendar to join us at Ohio State University in November!

There are so many ways to become involved with the Network. First and foremost, we hope you will join us in our efforts to promote sexual well-being in women and girls affected by cancer by becoming a member or renewing your membership if you have not already done so for 2019. In addition to joining us for our conference, you can also assist us in our efforts by spreading the word about the Network at other conferences you attend. Thank you for making the Network what we are!

This is an exciting time to be a part of the Network. Sexual function is being recognized as a critical health issue warranting greater attention by funders at the national level. For instance, a study published in February, 2019, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute assessed research grants funded in 2016 by the National Institutes of Health on cancer survivors, and identified sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors as a specific key research area warranting greater attention. I am encouraged by the fact that the NIH recognizes the importance of funding research studies that can help address this critical health problem...and excited by the prospect that we at the Network will be here to make this research happen!

Best Wishes,

Jennifer B. Reese, PhD
Newsletter Editor
Join or Renew Your Membership!
We need you! Join a highly active group of scientists and clinicians committed to moving the field forward in the area of sexual health for women and girls with cancer, and make your voice heard.
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Welcome New Members!
  • Debra Barton, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI (University of Michigan School of Nursing)
  • Lori Davis, NP, Ithaca, NY (Cayuga Medical Center)
  • Marloe Esch, BSN, RN, OCN, Waukesha, WI (Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center)
  • Andreja Gornjec, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Institute of Oncology Ljubljana)
  • Sherry Leib, PhD, Tampa, FL (Tampa General Hospital)
  • Nisha McKenzie, PA-C, CSC, IF, Grand Rapids, MI (Grand Rapids OB/GYN, Center for Women’s Sexual Health)
  • Joni Steffens, St. Cloud, MN (CentraCare Health)
Scientific Network Conference
Join us November 14-15, 2019 for our next conference!
The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital is pleased to host the 7th Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer Conference. The Network conference will be held November 14-15, with a pre-conference CME course held on November 13, in Columbus, Ohio. Active clinicians, researchers and healthcare professionals in this field will convene to accelerate research through collaboration, education, and community outreach.

This year’s conference will focus on adolescent and young adult women. The keynote speaker, Dr. Cindy Gerhardt, PhD, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will share her expertise in risk and resilience factors associated with family adjustment to childhood cancer, family communication, and decision-making in fertility preservation among others. Additional topics include onco-fertility, LGBTQ concerns, how to provide developmentally appropriate care for younger patients, patient advocacy, and updates from professional societies such as the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health.

Pre-Conference CME Course
In conjunction with the conference, the Scientific Network is offering a pre-conference CME course, “Female Sexual Function After Cancer: Highlighting the Needs of Special Cancer Populations Including High Risk Women and Women Living with Advanced Disease.” This half-day course aims to help close a significant gap in care for female cancer survivors by providing clinicians with the knowledge, tools and training to address the sexual side effects of cancer treatment. This gap in care exists for all female cancer patients but is particularly significant for a growing number of “special populations” of survivors, e.g. women diagnosed with less common cancers, women living with advanced cancer or cancer as a chronic disease, and women at high risk for hereditary cancers who have severe sexual problems related to prophylactic risk-reducing treatments. The course will focus on gold-standard practices in sexual health after cancer, delivering targeted intervention for these “special populations” of female patients and survivors, and how to develop and disseminate appropriate resources for these patients.
New & Newsworthy
Many people - members and non-members alike - have expressed interest in learning how to develop new sexual health clinics within their community. The Board is discussing different initiatives to meet this need. Ideas include making clinical materials available online, offering webinars with experts, and “Meet the Experts” sessions at our conferences. We want to hear from you too! Drop us a line to let us know what would be most helpful for you or share other suggestions for how the Network could help you in your efforts to establish or grow a clinic providing care for women or girls with cancer around their sexual health needs.
Member Spotlight
Are you looking for effective and sustainable care delivery methods that can meet ASCO and NCCN guidelines? Our spotlighted member, Dr. Leslie Schover, recently published an article in Climacteric that may be of interest to you: Sexual quality of life in men and women after cancer.

Read more about Dr. Schover and how she became one of the pioneers of female sexual health in cancer:

Leslie R. Schover, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in cancer-related problems with sexuality or fertility. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1979. Her dissertation was supported by a Woodrow Wilson Research Grant in Women’s Studies. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in sex therapy and sex research at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1981. She was Assistant Professor of Psychology in Urology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1982-1986 and served as Staff Psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation until 1999. Dr. Schover subsequently returned to MD Anderson Cancer Center, becoming a term-tenured full professor in 2003.

She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 33 book chapters, 3 self-help books, and a textbook. Her research on interventions to help people with cancer overcome problems with sexual and fertility issues includes three fast-track small business grants funded by the National Cancer Institute to develop and evaluate internet-based interventions for cancer survivors on sexuality and fertility. Dr. Schover also received grant funding from the American Cancer Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She received the Holland Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society in 2016.

She retired in 2016 to devote her full attention to her digital startup company, Will2Love (, which graduated from the TMCx accelerator in 2015. This resource provides online help for cancer-related problems with sexuality or fertility. Will2Love joined the American Cancer Society to conduct a pragmatic trial of its self-help programs to supplement previous efficacy trials.

Spotlight on Research
Hot off the press! Network member Sharon Bober, along with Alexis Michaud and Christopher Recklitis, published “Finding sexual health aids after cancer: Are cancer centers supporting survivors’ needs?” in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. The authors surveyed 25 comprehensive cancer centers affiliated with NCI and NCCN about availability of various types of sexual aids and resources for cancer survivors using a “mystery shopper” survey method. Find out whether these top cancer centers performed well or suggested Google as a reliable source.

Bober SL, Michaud AL, Recklitis CJ. Finding sexual health aids after cancer: Are cancer centers supporting survivors? Journal of Cancer Survivorship. Published online February 27, 2019.
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Newsletter Challenge
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Upcoming Meetings of Interest
American Society of Breast Surgeons
20th Annual Meeting
Dallas, TX
April 30 – May 5, 2019

Society of Sex Therapy & Research (SSTAR)
44th Annual Meeting
Toronto, ON, Canada
May 2-5, 2019

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
2019 Oncofertility Conference
Columbus, OH
May 18, 2019

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
2019 ASCO Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL
May 31 – June 4, 2019

American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
2019 Annual Conference
Philadelphia, PA
June 13-16, 2019

Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO)
MASCC/ISOO 2019 Annual Meeting
June 21-23, 2019
San Francisco, CA
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