Dealing with the Scare: Surviving Breast Cancer Survival

At no time of the year is the fight against breast cancer more public. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, the salience of the disease has raised a great deal of awareness—not to mention money—in the name of protecting and supporting women. While the fight against breast cancer has received an overwhelming amount of positive publicity, there are parts of the disease that are immutably private.

Without a doubt, the fear and suffering is a personal hell that cancer patients go through. Another dimension is the effects that the disease can have in other areas of patients’ lives. One such area is the bedroom, which is arguably one of the most private.

Certain chemotherapy drugs force the body into early menopause, which has massive effects on women’s hormones. Chemotherapy can also lead to hair loss. Mastectomies are in an altogether different class of suffering. A new study found that some breast cancer survivors struggle to be intimate again. The paper, ‘Feeling Sexy after Breast Cancer’, tells the story of women who have had to deal with their post-cancer bodies.

The Susan Komen Foundation provides an online guide for breast cancer survivors, advising them to talk to healthcare providers or support groups in order to deal with physical intimacy again.