Sexuality After Breast Cancer: Need for Guideline


avatar Shahram Vaziri 1 , * , avatar F Lotfi Kashani 1

1 Dept. of Clinical Psychology, Roudehen branch, Islamic Azad University, Roudehen, Iran

How to Cite: Vaziri S , Lotfi Kashani F. Sexuality After Breast Cancer: Need for Guideline. Int J Cancer Manag. 2012;5(1):e80791.


International Journal of Cancer Management: 5 (1); e80791
Published Online: March 31, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: June 28, 2012
Accepted: August 08, 2012


Background: Clinical experiences have revealed that patients with breast cancer experience various sexual problems following their treatment. Breast cancer negatively impacts the sexual life of the afflicted couples, and as a traumatic event can influence women’s psychosexual functioning and intimate relationship. This review focuses on sexuality after breast cancer and on a growing need for bio-psycho-social guidelines for breast cancer treatment.

Methods: This study aims to review the literature on management, psychological outcomes and sexual dysfunction in patients with breast cancer.

Results: Although the benefits of the current treatment strategies are well established, many cancer survivors are at risk for developing psycho physiological symptoms including sexual dysfunction. Cancer and treatment-related factors can influence sexual functioning. We review current treatment-related side effects on sexual functioning such as desire, arousal and orgasm in breast cancer patients. Despite the impact of medical treatment on survival of patients with breast cancer, no satisfactory steps have been taken towards improving sexual functioning of these patients.

Conclusion: Breast cancer affects many aspects of sexuality, including changes in physical functioning and in the perception of feminity. Sexual dysfunction following breast cancer should be diagnosed and managed as a systematic approach with multidisciplinary inputs. Healthcare professionals should assess the effects of medical and surgical treatment on the sexuality of breast cancer survivors.


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© 2012, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.