70 percent of women likely to experience sexual problems after breast cancer

Sep 23, 2010

A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at whether women were more likely to experience sexual problems after breast cancer. The results showed that 70% of women were facing sexual function problems approximately two years post diagnosis.

Mary Panjari, PhD, of the Women's Health Program at Monash University, reported on the sexual well-being nearly two years after diagnosis and initial treatment of participants in the BUPA Foundation Health and Wellbeing after Study which involves approximately 1,700 breast cancer survivors.

Over 80% of all the women in the study described their sex life before breast cancer as good and satisfying. Amongst the partnered women aged 70 years or younger, with no active disease, 70% were experiencing problems.

Many of the women who experienced had concerns about their after breast cancer. Also, specific treatments for breast cancer were more likely to be associated with menopausal symptoms, which can contribute to sexual problems.

Vasomotor symptoms are menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. Adjuvant endocrine therapy describes the treatment of hormone receptor positive breast cancer with additional hormone drugs, after surgery and radiotherapy, in order to help stop the disease from coming back.

Adjuvant endocrine therapies, in particular aromatase inhibitors, can exacerbate these menopausal symptoms and affect sexual function. In women who were not on endocrine therapy, there was no association between and vasomotor symptoms.

"Women who have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer still require support to maintain health and well-being after breast cancer," Panjari concludes. "As women now remain on aromatase inhibitors for longer periods, sexual function problems are likely to become more common amongst breast cancer survivors."

Explore further: DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

Related Stories

Sexual intimacy and breast cancer survivors: New research

Nov 10, 2008

An Indiana University study found that young, female breast cancer survivors often suffer from sexual and intimate relationship issues and are interested in using sexual enhancement products to treat these problems.

Hormone therapy raises cancer risk

Jan 16, 2008

Menopausal women who take hormone combinations for their symptoms are more likely to get an uncommon type of breast cancer much earlier than experts believed.

Breast cancer study halted

Jun 20, 2007

The U.S. National Cancer Institute halted a $100 million study of drugs designed to prevent breast cancer in women at risk for the disease.

Recommended for you

DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

20 hours ago

Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimise treatment when tumour tissue is not available, an international group of researchers ...

Tumors prefer the easy way out

23 hours ago

Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever ...

Brain tumors may be new targets of Ebola-like virus

23 hours ago

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult for most drugs to reach, but Yale researchers have found a promising but unlikely new ally against brain cancers—portions of a deadly virus similar to Ebola.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.