Purpose/Objectives: To explore the sexuality and intimacy experiences facing women with breast cancer.
Data Sources: Published articles; OVID, PsycINFO, and Florida Atlantic University databases; Web sites; and books.
Data Synthesis: Patient perceptions and knowledge of mastectomy and chemotherapy-induced menopause in regard to lifelong sexual experiences are lacking. Healthcare providers must institute much-needed education and open lines of communication.
Conclusions: The physical and psychological results of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment alter human sexuality. Breast cancer's survival rate is at an all-time high, increasing the number of people who will be living with such issues on a daily basis and shifting the focus from acute care concerns to chronic disease concerns.
Implications for Nursing: Healthcare providers should assess individual patients for potential issues they may face. By identifying problems, they can challenge health care to focus on the long-term problems associated with sexuality and intimacy issues facing patients.