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Sexual intimacy and breast cancer survivors: New research
Date:11/9/2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University study found that young, female breast cancer survivors often suffer from sexual and intimate relationship issues and are interested in using sexual enhancement products to treat these problems.

The study, "Young Female Breast Cancer Survivors: Their sexual function and interest in sexual enhancement products and services," was published Nov. 4 in the journal Cancer Nursing.

The study was funded by The Patty Brisben Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering research related to women's sexual health.

The study found that a significant number of women reported vaginal dryness, genital pain, premature menopause, fatigue and fertility problems. In addition, survivors experienced significant problems related to sexual arousal, desire and orgasm.

"Although previous work has documented the sexual difficulties faced by young breast cancer survivors, strikingly little work has addressed strategies women might take to address these sexual problems," said Debby Herbenick, lead researcher and associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at IU Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Herbenick adds that more than 2 million breast cancer survivors are living in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"Given advances in early detection and treatment, more women survive breast cancer, which requires researchers to focus on important relationship and quality of life issues for survivors," said Jessica Johnston, executive director of The Patty Brisben Foundation.

Most of the women surveyed reported interest in using personal lubricants and massage lotions/oils to help treat these issues. Half of the women surveyed were interested in using vibrators or dildos and more than one-third were interested in sex games.

The women in the study also indicated comfort in purchasing sexu
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Contact: Amanda Daugherty
amadaugh@indiana.edu
812-856-3136
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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