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October 2014

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Early detection and directed treatments have led to improved outcomes for women with breast cancer. Nonetheless, the gynecologic impact of these treatments is significant. In one study, 42% of breast cancer survivors experienced vaginal dryness, 38% reported that intercourse was painful, and 64% felt loss of libido. For many women, these changes affect her relationship with her partner directly, thereby increasing her risk of depression. Furthermore, medical treatment for depression can accelerate loss of sexual interest and further endanger the relationship. In one series, when 610 breast cancer survivors with normal sexual activity were given antidepressants, 57% experienced loss of libido.