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Breast Cancer and Sexual Well-Being

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Breast cancer causes both immediate and long lasting injuries to women. A recent study in Australia reports that adverse changes to sexual well-being and intimacy are the most problematic issues for women after the diagnosis. The study examined changes to sexuality and intimate relationships in such patients. Decreases in sexual frequency, response and satisfaction were caused by a number of factors related to the disease and its treatment. Tiredness and pain, psychological distress and a poor body image develop. Medical and/or surgical menopause to stop hormonal stimulation of the cancer causes vaginal dryness, hot flushes and weight gain. These emotional and physical changes that occur cause feelings of unattractiveness, loss of femininity and have negative impact on relationships with spouses and partners.

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and the second leading cause of deaths from malignancy. Advances in screening and treatment have resulted in increased survival and approximately 88 % of women live for more than 5 years. Survival has increased, but physicians are now realizing that the quality of life for these women decreases. Poor body image creates dissatisfaction with sexual activity. High dose chemotherapy causes problems with cognition and memory. Because breasts are a significant part of a woman's sexuality, a mastectomy and even a lumpectomy cause feelings of deficiency and some women describe it as feeling like "half a woman".

Britcher Leone & Roth understands the physical and emotional injuries caused by breast cancer and, if a diagnosis has been delayed because a mammogram was misread as normal or because a biopsy that should have been done was not, can help by investigating and bringing a claim on behalf of the woman and her family for a delayed diagnosis.

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