Associations among sexual functioning, sexual well-being, physical- and psychological well-being in breast cancer
Cancer and its treatment(s) have been found to affect patients’ sexual functioning and sexual well-being which may result in a deterioration of the quality of life of both patients and partners. Due to the central role of breasts in (western) female sexual identity, breast cancer and its surgical treatment(s) can have a profound/negative/detrimental effect on the sexual lives of female patients. It has been shown that approximately 60%-70% of breast cancer survivors report sexual problems after their treatment. Following a conceptual framework regarding the impact of chronic diseases on sexual function and sexual experience, we can hypothesize that breast cancer can have a direct impact on sexual functioning (e.g., mastectomy or lumpectomy affecting genital anatomy), a direct impact on sexual experience (e.g., due to the changes in one’s sexual identity as a woman), an indirect impact on sexual functioning (e.g., tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors affecting the hormonal basis of sexual functioning) through the patients’ general physical condition (e.g., pain, (post-chemo) fatigue) and through the general psychological well-being (e.g., depression, changes in body image. Using an adaptation of the previously mentioned conceptual framework, we aim to explore how sexual functioning and sexual well-being of patients treated for breast cancer are associated with aspects of their physical condition and psychological well-being during and after cancer treatment.
> CarEdOn primary researcher: Prof. An De Groef
> Research partners: Prof. Paul Enzlin, Instituut voor Familiale en Seksuologische Wetenschappen, KU Leuven (Belgium), Dra. Sofia Prekatsounaki, Instituut voor Familiale en Seksuologische Wetenschappen, KU Leuven (Belgium), Dra. Elien Van der Gucht, Dept. Of Rehabilitation Sciences (KU Leuven), Prof. Inge Geraerts, Dept. Of Rehabilitation Sciences (KU Leuven), Dra. Anne Asnong, Dept. Of Rehabilitation Sciences (KU Leuven),
> Funding: n/a
> Keywords: breast cancer, pain, upper limb function
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