Sexuality and Intimacy
Although sexuality and intimacy are usually not among the top three concerns women have when first diagnosed with breast cancer, they certainly become important as time passes. It would be impossible for a cancer diagnosis and treatment not to impact this important part of our lives. Whether we are concerned with mortality, body image, changed breasts (or lack thereof), baldness, or feeling poorly from chemotherapy, breast cancer is never a sexual plus. When I give talks on this topic, I often comment that the fact of having cancer is never listed in a personal ad. Have you seen one that says something like: "like hiking, French wine, and Bach. Have had breast cancer." No.
Anyway, this is a very nice discussion of this topic from Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org) Here is a summary and then a link. You can download it either as a transcript or a podcast.
Behind the Bedroom Door: Sex and Intimacy Uncovered
Speaker: Ann Honebrink, MD, FACOG; Helen L. Coons, PhD, ABPP
Learn how breast cancer can impact both your emotional and physical responses to sex and intimacy. Dr. Honebrink, a gynecologist, explains how breast cancer treatment may change or affect your body's chemical responses to intimacy and gives strategies to increase your sexual desire, physical comfort and emotional and sexual intimacy during and after treatment. Dr. Coons, a psychologist, discusses emotional aspects of sex and intimacy including methods to talk with your partner about intimacy in and outside the bedroom.