Monday, September 27, 2010

'Diagnosis is Killing Desire'

The following article was in the Newcastle Herald on Saturday 25 September 2010:

'An Australian study has revealed the broad and long-term impact of breast cancer, with most women reporting a major post-diagnosis blow to their sex lives.

Research by Monash University professors Susan Davis and Robin Bell found that 83 percent of the women described their sex life as good before learning they had breast cancer.

But within two years of being diagnosed, 70 percent experienced sexual function problems as a side effect of treatment, including a loss in sexual desire.'


Kaz said...

Chez think i told you my sister went thru not wanting to have sex on one of the meds.she even went to a counsel for it.


Debby said...

Yeah. Welcome to my world. I feel really badly about it to. I accomodate. I haven't talked about it to anyone.

WhiteStone said...

I'm thinking that any health upheaval can contribute to a disrupted sex life. That would be natural. The body and mind have been "hit hard". The act of going into survival mode itself would cause us to turn inward, to conserve emotional/mental energy.

What cancer patients experience is enough to put them into a "post-traumatic" state. And it takes time to heal. The problem is that just because we've finished treatment doesn't mean our emotional selves have healed. We're still dealing with the trauma.

diane said...

I would imagine your mind would be in another place.

julie said...

Yeah, this is one of the side effects not really talked about much - except by survivors. A lot of docs don't really talk about it until a patient brings it up. WhiteStone is absolutely right, it takes time to heal - both our bodies and our mind/spirit. We expect that when we're finished with treatment we're done. But it's not so simple, and this is just another example of that.

Jeanne Marren Egan said...

I experienced this as well. All of the meds you take,as well as the fact that you "just don't feel like yourself" probably don't help.

Lauren said...

Just one of the many delightful aspects of breast cancer. Right now research is being conducted in the US trying to find the biggest needs for those with breast cancer during and after treatment. It would be great if you could share any additional insights so that in turn better materials and programs can be created. To learn more and join this movement please go to Thanks!