Will touching of breasts stimulate cancer cells?

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Question from Helen: I, age 56, have had estrogen dominance in my perimenopause, lots of heavy vaginal bleeding, now diagnosed with LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ, an overgrowth of cells generally considered a pre-cancerous condition). My fear is that touching breasts and circulating hormones from sex will stimulate pre-cancer cells/cancer cells.
Answers - Su Kenderdine You can be assured that touching your breast will not increase the circulation of estrogen in your body. Nor is there any data that touching the breasts starts or moves cancer cells.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. There are a lot of myths about touching and illness. Make sure to air your concerns so that you're not stuck worrying about something that is not based in reality. It's important to tell your partner that touching did not bring on the cancer and that touching through and beyond treatment is safe.

Also, if you don't want some parts of your body touched because of discomfort or because it brings on fear in you, then guide your partner to other parts of the body that you're more ready for. During radiation treatment, it's important to let your partner know that you are not radioactive. He or she will not "catch" any radiation from you. When your tissues are tender because of treatment, that's probably not the best time for vigorous touch. Light touch can be extremely sensual throughout your body.
Su Kenderdine Being sexually aroused yourself doesn't change your hormone levels, and coming to sexual climax by whatever means doesn't cause your hormones to elevate. It certainly causes the glands in the vagina to create wetness, but that's not increasing hormones or hormone levels.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Sleep or Sex? You Can Have Both! featured Carroll Kenderdine, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to maintain sexual intimacy during and after treatment, what to do for loss of libido and vaginal dryness, ways to reduce the fatigue related to breast cancer, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2004.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. 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.

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