From JNCI vol 17, issue 8 August 1999, 2371
"Predictors of Sexual Health in Women After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis" by Patricia A. Ganz, et al
This is one of very few studies that relate to qaulity of life. You can reference this entire article by going to www.breastcancer.net and looking up reconstruction. That is how I found it. Sorry I do not know how to create a link for the spot in this paragraph.
Several things struck me:
1) Sexual satisfaction overall was similar to that of healthy women
2) If women had a good sex life prior to diagnosis, they tended to have that afterwards as well
3) But having a new partner usually meant more satisfaction (hopefully this just means a renewal of excitement, similar to what anyone finds if they are single again and find someone new)
4)Women experiencing the unwanted effects of chemotherapy had a more difficult time. These effects included vaginal dryness
5) Problems with partners was greater among younger women (this may indicate that it was somewhat more difficult to find a good one or it may mean they were more uncomfortable seeking a partner) One question single women have is when to tell a new partner that you have had breast cancer or that you are missing a breast(s)
6)Almost half of all women who had mastectomies also had reconstruction. This was somewhat of a surprise to me as I had thought more women had done this. Possibly the balance may shift in the future as more women are being urged to do reconstruction. I have somewhat of a problem with this as I think women are often NOT fully informed as to potential problems. Often the issue is discussed immediately and they are asked to opt for immediate reconstruction. This may be the wrong time to make such an important decision.
7)African-American women and "others" reported greater sexual satisfaction than white women
But overall, there was not that much difference from the healthy full breasted general population.
Journal National Cancer Institute
Greater Mood Disturbance In Post-Mast w/Reconstruction
Cancer Journal (online)
Issues with reconstruction?
Phantom Pain After Mastectomy
JCO, May, 2001
Effects Strength Training, Body Composition:Bca Survivors
J Clin Oncol, June 2001
Aftermath of Bca: Altered Sexual Self
Sexual Functioning After Adj Chemo
Product to Help with Vaginal Dryness
Partners & Breast Cancer Scars
J Clinical Oncology,6/01
Quality of Life Diminished by Treatment
Patient Perspective on Chemotherapy
Am College of Gastroenterology
3/03 ABC News
Becky Zuckweiler, MS, RN
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