How to discuss experience with new man?

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Question from Mara: I have avoided relationships with men ever since my surgery. How does one bring up the subject with a new beau?
Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. I think that just as you tell someone new other intimate things about yourself, you can bring up your breast cancer experience.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. I think it's important to let potential partners know what to expect. If you tell them that you had breast cancer, you probably also need to let them know if you still have a breast or not. There may be many questions that instantly come to this other person's mind, and that person may not express those concerns. If you reveal your breast cancer diagnosis and also tell them in a few sentences when it happened, what was done, and how you feel about it now, you can make a big difference in how comfortable or uncomfortable they may be. Many men know somebody close to them who has been affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer, unfortunately, is not so uncommon. It's not as if you have had a rare disorder. There is a high level of awareness out there among both women and men.
Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. It helps to put yourself in someone else's place. Think how you might feel if you were attracted to a new man and found out that he had surgery for prostate cancer and might not have normal erections. Would you still want him as a potential dating partner? Would you be willing to cope with a problem in your sex life together? Men who might reject you because of your breast cancer are not the kind of men you need in your life.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Intimacy and Sexuality featured Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment affect your sex life.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

A production of LiveWorld, Inc.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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