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Anales de la Facultad de Medicina

versión On-line ISSN 2301-1254


CAMEJO, Natalia et al. Assessment of the Sexual Health of Breast Cancer Survivors and their Interest in Discussing their Difficulties with their Doctors during Follow-Up. Anfamed [online]. 2020, vol.7, n.1, e202.  Epub 01-Jun-2020. ISSN 2301-1254.


Sexual dysfunction from breast cancer and its various therapies is present in up to 60 % of the breast cancer patients. Sexuality remains a neglected issue; doctors often ignore it, claiming they lack the time, knowledge or expertise required to address it. Objectives: To evaluate the sexuality of breast cancer survivors’, inquire about the degree of interest in receiving help to resolve sexual dysfunctions related to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease and the level of satisfaction with the care received.

Materials and methods:

The subjects enrolled had an early breast cancer and were treated at the Mastology Unit of the Cancer Department of the Hospital de Clínicas. The study was approved by the hospital’s Ethics Committee. The selected questionnaire is the one used at the University of Chicago Medical Oncology Clinic. Most of the 128 patients included were over 50 years old and had a sexual partner, 98 patients (76.5 %) had been sexually active within the last 12 months and 85 (86.7 %) reported having sexual problems.


Most patients (67/128, 68.3 %) responded that sexuality was important in their lives; 85 (86.6 %) were interested in receiving support to treat their sexual difficulties, and 72 (73.4 %) saw the feasibility of addressing them with a doctor. However, only 29 (29.6%) had sought medical help for that purpose, and most were unhappy with the care received. Seventy-nine patients (80.6 %) would be willing to participate in a program aimed at confronting their sexual problems.


Our results reveal the need to address the sexual problems of patients diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer as part of their medical care. Future studies should focus on developing and evaluating the success of specific interventions in the management of these patients’ sexual dysfunction and ―even more importantly― designing strategies for its prevention.

Palabras clave : Sexual Health; Breast Cancer.

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