Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cancer Risk In Delaying Sex Assignment Surgery

An editorial and a case report on Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) in the Medical Journal of Australia highlight the need for early diagnosis and effective risk management in these rare but potentially life threatening cases.

DSD describes conditions in which patients are born with ambiguous genitalia; DSD were previously described by terms such as 'intersex', 'hermaphroditism' and 'testicular feminisation'.

In the editorial, endocrinologists from Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, Dr Garry Warne and Dr Jacqueline Hewitt, discuss the sometimes contentious management of the disorder, and call for the preparation of separate risk management strategies for individual patients.

"International debate continues about the ethics of performing genital surgery on affected infants and children," Dr Warne said.

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