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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234

Abstract

CESNIK, Vanessa Monteiro  and  SANTOS, Manoel Antônio dos. Do the physical discomforts from breast cancer treatments affect the sexuality of women who underwent mastectomy?. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.4, pp. 1001-1008. ISSN 0080-6234.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0080-62342012000400031.

The objective of this integrative review is to analyze the scientific production addressing the sexuality of women with breast cancer following mastectomy, focused on the effects that the physical discomfort due to cancer treatments have on their sex life. The search included articles published in the period between 2000 and 2009 on the MEDLINE, LILACS and PsycINFO databases, using the following descriptors: mastectomy, breast neoplasms, sexuality, sexual behavior, amputation, psychosexual development, and marital relations. Nine articles were selected, which addressed the effects of the physical discomfort from cancer treatments on the patients' sexuality. The findings revealed that, even when the patient's sex life is intense and fulfilling before the disease, factors such as stress, pain, fatigue, insult to body image, and low self-esteem due to the treatments may alter the sexual functioning of the affected woman. Healthcare professionals must be sensitized in order to welcome and include the topic in policies as well as in preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies.

Keywords : Women; Breast neoplasms; Mastectomy; Sexuality; Review.

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