Study: For Sex After Breast Cancer, How Surgical Options Affect Intimacy

There are many factors to consider when facing breast cancer, including deciding on a course of treatment and potential surgery and reconstruction, as reported in this media link.

Now, a new study suggests the type of surgery used to treat breast cancer also affects post-operative sex life.

Research published in The Annals of Surgical Oncology aimed to examine the long-term consequences of surgery to treat breast cancer, focusing on the impact on appearance and sexuality.

The study surveyed women who had surgery for invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma — including lumpectomy, mastectomy alone and mastectomy with reconstruction — about their satisfaction with the appearance of their breast, their comfort with a partner seeing the breast without clothing and how important they feel their breast is in intimacy and sex, both before and after their surgery.

Dr. Jennifer S. Gass, chief of surgery at Women & Infants Hospital and the head of the research team behind the study, noted in a news release that in an era when more early-stage breast cancer patients are opting for a mastectomy, there had not been previous research addressing breast-specific sensuality — in other words, the breast’s role during sexual intimacy.

To learn more, read the results of the study.

And, in the above video, watch as breast cancer expert Dr. Jay Harness, together with moderator Lisa Schneider-Cipriano, herself recovered from breast cancer, address the topic of sex after breast cancer and offer resources for breast cancer patients who don’t feel like themselves.

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