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Intimacy and Sexuality After Breast Cancer

Breast cancer can be scary and stressful. It can change your life and your body. We are here to help you.

The symptoms you may be having can lead to changes in intimacy and sexuality. These may include:

  • Feeling tired

  • Nausea

  • Pain

  • Numbness

  • Tingling

  • Swelling

  • Vaginal dryness

These changes depend on your treatment, which may last up to a year. You may need more medicine to lower the risk of cancer coming back. Treatments and medicines may have side effects. These may include:

  • Changes in sexual interest.

  • Harder to get aroused and have an orgasm.

  • Pain with sex.

  • Worries about appearance after treatment.

Carbone Cancer Center Resources

Lori Seaborne, MPAS, PA-C

She works in the UW Health Breast Center. She is certified as a sexual counselor. She can talk with you and answer questions about your sexual concerns after breast cancer. She will help you find the right resources and the best care. To schedule a visit call (608)266-6400.

Women’s Integrative Sexual Health (WISH) Program

This offers a personal approach. You may have a physical exam as part of your care. Lori Seaborne and Joanne Rash, both physician’s assistants, work with your cancer doctor. They also work with your pelvic floor physical therapists and sex therapists. They help you find resources to address your concerns. Contact Lori or your cancer doctor if interested.

There are other resources in the library at the Breast Center at UW Hospital and 1 South Park. They have free brochures and books you can check out. You may also find books at a public library.

Brochures and Books

  • Intimacy and Sexuality from Living Beyond Breast Cancer

  • Sexuality for the Woman with Cancer from the American Cancer Society

  • Intimacy After Cancer: A Woman’s Guide by Sally Kydd and Dana Rowett

  • No Less A Woman: Femininity, Sexuality, and Breast Cancer by Deborah Hobler Kahane, MSW

  • Woman, Cancer, Sex by Anne Katz, RN, PhD
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