Do you recommend any books on this issue? We can't afford a therapist currently, or other therapies (e.g. massage, acupuncture) that could help me personally.
- Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. Well, that's difficult. The American Cancer Society publishes the booklet Sexuality and Cancer: For the Woman Who Has Cancer and Her Partner. It's available printed or even online - you can download it at the American Cancer Society website. Beyond that, there are no books that I would recommend specifically about breast cancer and sexuality right now on the market, except Living Beyond Breast Cancer by Dr. Weiss, which has a good chapter.
- Kara Nakisbendi Here are a few other resources, not just about cancer. For pain with intercourse, a good site is Vaginismus.com, and while it doesn't necessarily address the vaginal estrogen issue, it does address the muscles that become involved when pain occurs. And two other books: Becoming Orgasmic by Heiman & LoPiccolo. That's a good reference as far as women in general becoming comfortable with their bodies and issues that may have preceded breast cancer and may come into play anyhow. And a good one for couples is called For Each Other by Barbach. Men actually need a lot of education around sexuality. There are a lot of myths that exist.
- Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. I also have a grant right now from the National Cancer Institute to create a multimedia website for women about sexuality and fertility after cancer. It won't be finished for a couple of years. Of course breastcancer.org is a resource for this transcript and others.
On Wednesday, February 20, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Sex, Intimacy, and Breast Cancer. Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. and Kara Nakisbendi, M.D. answered your questions about sexual side effects of breast cancer and breast cancer treatment, and what you can do about them.
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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