Intimacy and Breast Cancer

Intimacy and Breast Cancer: What Now?

A breast cancer diagnosis often brings significant physical, psychological, and emotional changes to a woman. It also can affect her personal relationships in myriad ways. Whether single or partnered, a woman may experience concerns and have questions about her physical self, her sexual self, and her relationship self. Unfortunately, these issues may not be addressed by a woman’s medical team. Further, sexual and intimacy related matters may come to light months or even years after a woman’s initial diagnosis.

At Firefly Sisterhood, we are opening up the discussion. In anticipation of our “Under the Sheets” Firefly Dialogues coming up next month (Register Here), we would like to highlight a few intimacy related topics and resources available from some trusted online sites.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers a comprehensive Guide to Understanding Intimacy and Sexuality. This guide offers practical tips, suggestions for how to talk with your support team – both medical and nonmedical – and further resources for more information.

A recent CURE article discusses how getting back to intimacy after a cancer diagnosis can be an important part of the healing process. The article emphasizes the need for communication between partners in spite of intimacy often being the furthest thing from a woman’s mind following a diagnosis.

In a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute video, doctors and clinicians in the Sexual Health Program emphasize how common sexual and intimacy issues are in women who have undergone treatment and offer hope for women to reclaim their sexuality.

More and more, we are seeing an emphasis on going beyond saving lives to improving quality of life after a cancer diagnosis. As with so many aspects of survivorship, being one’s own best advocate is critical. Intimacy and sexuality can be defining factors of a woman’s identity; let’s continue the conversation on this topic.

Please look for our Facebook post coming soon with an opportunity for you to ask questions and share comments.

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