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Breast Cancer and Sexual Wellbeing

In 2010, Breast Care Network Australia commissioned Professor Jane Ussher and her team from the University of Western Sydney to conduct research into the impact of breast cancer on sexual wellbeing. The research included women and the health professionals who care for them, with the goal of better understanding the impact of breast cancer on sexual wellbeing, and identifying practical strategies to assist women.

The research found that even though the majority of women said they had experienced negative changes to their sexual wellbeing, only 35% of women had spoken to someone about this. In addition:

  • – 68% of women said they would like information about sexual wellbeing (top 5 issues being vaginal dryness, relationship changes, difficulties in becoming aroused, hot flushes and information for partners).
  • – 89% of health professionals said they considered sexual wellbeing to be a very important issue for women, however only 33% said they always addressed this issue (reasons included a lack of privacy during consultations, sensitivity to a woman’s culture or religion, time constraints and pressures, or because they felt that the woman would be uncomfortable).

Breast Care Network Australia has developed an information booklet, Breast Cancer and Sexual Wellbeing to help women with breast cancer identify the issues that may affect you during and after treatment. This booklet was developed based on feedback received from women and health professionals, and identifies strategies that may help you to manage sexual wellbeing issues commonly experienced by women. Click here to download this booklet. 

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