Psychosexual functioning of women after breast cancer therapy
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Psychiatr Pol 2012;46(1):51-61
Aim. The study was to assess psychosexual functioning of women after breast cancer treatment, since this problem is very rarely discussed in Polish professional literature. Methods. Our study involved 103 women after breast cancer treatment. The questionnaire was based on the Likert scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the authors' own questions. Results. Some 52% of respondents were operated in 2002-2008; 93% had a radical mastectomy or a breast-sparing operation without reconstruction. About 71% accepted themselves before falling ill, and 65% regarded themselves as pretty. After surgery 57% felt attractive as sexual partners, 48.5% found it difficult to look at themselves naked, and 37.9% were embarrassed in their partners' presence. Some 26.21% of the women had a very good and 42.71% had a satisfactory sexual life before the disease. Following surgery, 54% did not notice any changes in their partners' behaviour, 14% avoided intimate situations, and 11% have not had sexual intercourse since the operation. Conclusions. In the relationships where sex was important, the quality of sexual intercourse improved. A factor which contributes to successful sexual life of a woman is her acceptance of her body and her feeling of attractiveness.
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