Presenter Information

Hilary TingleyFollow

Start Date

17-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

17-11-2017 11:30 AM

Description

Impact of a Mastectomy on Female Sexual Expression: An Integrative Literature Review

Hilary Tingley

Nursing Student, DePaul University, School of Nursing

Background: Women diagnosed with breast cancer are often treated with a combination of therapies, one of which may be a mastectomy. There are an increasing number of women who are undergoing preventative mastectomies, many as a result of BRCA gene testing.

Objective: The purpose of this literature review was to examine the impact of a mastectomy on female sexual expression and body image.

Method: An integrative literature review design was used with research articles pulled from search engines such as CINAHL complete, PubMed and PsychINFO.

Results: Thirteen articles were reviewed and analyzed. The articles drew on information from surveys and semi-structured interviews with women who underwent a mastectomy. The research suggests age, partner support, cancer treatment methods and pre-and post-mastectomy preparedness are the important determinates of whether a woman experiences a negative body image or decline in sexuality. Depending upon which of these determinants apply, women will have varying experiences and coping abilities post-mastectomy. The research overwhelmingly agrees that all women experience some body dissatisfaction and a decline in sexuality after mastectomy. Women who are younger, lack partner support, have additional cancer therapies and are not properly prepared on what to expect post-mastectomy may have diminished coping abilities, as well as more severe body dissatisfaction and sexual decline.

Conclusion: Healthcare workers are often not prepared to consider the sexual dimension of treatment for their mastectomy patients. So much attention is focused on physical recovery that altered body image and diminished sexuality are overlooked. These are difficult topics to initiate because a woman’s sexuality continues to be an awkward topic in our culture. There is also the false belief that women with breast cancer should be solely focused on survival and are no longer interested in sexuality and intimacy. Nurses are on the front line to provide care, education, and additional resources. With the help of a nurse, a mastectomy patient can find the tools she needs to cope with a distorted body image and changes to her sexuality.

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Nov 17th, 10:00 AM Nov 17th, 11:30 AM

Impact of a Mastectomy on Female Body Image and Sexuality

Impact of a Mastectomy on Female Sexual Expression: An Integrative Literature Review

Hilary Tingley

Nursing Student, DePaul University, School of Nursing

Background: Women diagnosed with breast cancer are often treated with a combination of therapies, one of which may be a mastectomy. There are an increasing number of women who are undergoing preventative mastectomies, many as a result of BRCA gene testing.

Objective: The purpose of this literature review was to examine the impact of a mastectomy on female sexual expression and body image.

Method: An integrative literature review design was used with research articles pulled from search engines such as CINAHL complete, PubMed and PsychINFO.

Results: Thirteen articles were reviewed and analyzed. The articles drew on information from surveys and semi-structured interviews with women who underwent a mastectomy. The research suggests age, partner support, cancer treatment methods and pre-and post-mastectomy preparedness are the important determinates of whether a woman experiences a negative body image or decline in sexuality. Depending upon which of these determinants apply, women will have varying experiences and coping abilities post-mastectomy. The research overwhelmingly agrees that all women experience some body dissatisfaction and a decline in sexuality after mastectomy. Women who are younger, lack partner support, have additional cancer therapies and are not properly prepared on what to expect post-mastectomy may have diminished coping abilities, as well as more severe body dissatisfaction and sexual decline.

Conclusion: Healthcare workers are often not prepared to consider the sexual dimension of treatment for their mastectomy patients. So much attention is focused on physical recovery that altered body image and diminished sexuality are overlooked. These are difficult topics to initiate because a woman’s sexuality continues to be an awkward topic in our culture. There is also the false belief that women with breast cancer should be solely focused on survival and are no longer interested in sexuality and intimacy. Nurses are on the front line to provide care, education, and additional resources. With the help of a nurse, a mastectomy patient can find the tools she needs to cope with a distorted body image and changes to her sexuality.