Breast cancer and sexual dysfunction – What we know?
ESC Congress Library. Ribeiro V. May 28, 2014; 50632; A-217
Dr. Vera Ribeiro
Dr. Vera Ribeiro
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Sexuality is not only something we do, in fact, is something we are. There is a multiplicity of definitions, in brief, sexuality is a continuous construction through life, based on the psychosocial resources that each of us have to maintain an intimacy relationship and retrieve sexual pleasure from it.

Breast cancer is the lead cancer in women worldwide. Each year there are about 1,38 million new cases and 45800 deaths, mostly in low and middle income countries.

This is not a cancer of the elderly and the incidence keeps rising in young women, meaning that with the advances in early diagnoses and more efficient treatments, also there is a rise of survivors, having to deal with disfigurement; fertility loss; early menopause and many other consequences.

Nowadays, sexual health is seen as a crucial aspect in cancer patients,through and after treatment.

Sexual dysfunction may be caused by the disease itself, but also because of the treatments and indirect psychologal reactions to both of them. Many factors interfere in the severity of dysfunction, namely: the severity of disease; the existance of a partner; the previous sexual satisfaction; the type of surgery performed, among others. About 60% of women with breast cancer refer sexual dysfunction, and in all phases of the sexual cycle.

In young women it is crucial to inform about fertility preservation options. In all women is mandatory to do the least invasive surgery and oncoplastic surgery must be considered part of the treatment and not a secundary issue.menopause symptoms must be controlled, namelly vaginal dryness.

We must understand that despite having a cancer, there is life beyond it, and that it includes sexuality. Most patients will feel uncomfortable mentioning this subject. It is our duty to give attention to it and show that there are solutions

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