After the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer, there is often a psychological unavailability to the sexual act for a while. We must learn together to tame the other erogenous zones of the body.
« Cancer reaches femininity, it's silly, but we feel less woman, says Mina, currently in remission. Many patients with breast cancer experience this loss. You have to learn to accept yourself and show yourself with a scar, with or without a prosthesis. The most important and difficult to reclaim, is to remember that femininity is not limited to the chest. The legs, the hands, the smile, etc ... are so many signs of femininity.
In France, more than 70,000 partial or total breast ablations are performed each year. The treatments that follow the operation are heavy and sometimes for life. A disease that upsets the sex life of women.
During the first days after the operation, to compensate for the ablation, patients can put on a postoperative bra with filling fiber. Once the healing is over, the doctor proposes external breast prostheses, permanent or temporary. They give back the appearance and the curve of the breast. Finally, patients can opt for breast reconstruction: placement of a prosthesis or tissues (skin and muscles) under the skin. This operation can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy or after the end of the treatments. Recently, women can make 3D tattoos that recreate identical nipples and nipples.
Raise excitement again
« I had a quadrantectomy of the breast, that is, a quarter of the breast removed. In addition to the physical aspect, the breast loses its sensitivity with the treatments Says Mina. The operation effectively cuts the nerve endings, which alters the pleasure, and the treatments do not arrange anything while also reducing the sensation. Thus, after the announcement of cancer and much more after ablation, many women experience a break in their sex lives. « Advanced breast cancer is a chronic disease, there will be times when sexuality will be undermined, envy will be less present »says Catherine Adler Tal, onco-psychologist and onco-sexologist.
To arouse excitement again, patients can use sex toys, imagine new positions, new hugs, or use lubricants recommended by doctors. Indeed, the treatments often interfere also on the vaginal lubrication.
Spouse's reactions: from denial to infantilization
"After the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer, there is often and for a moment, a psychological unavailability to the sexual act. You have to relearn slowly, with or without your partner, to desire, " explains Catherine Adler Tal. If the patient is in a relationship, it is important that everyone respects the pace of the other. For example, if the partner does not want to see the scar of his wife, it is not necessarily because she repels him, but simply because he does not accept the disease. " There is a range of possible responses from the spouse to the disease, ranging from denial to infantilization. You have to find the right balance and stay lover ". In any case, the most important thing is to speak, to expose to others their desires, their problems, their fears. "You have to try as much as you can to keep physical contact with your partner and learn together to tame the other erogenous zones of the body", Catherine Adler Tal concludes.