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Sexual health after a breast cancer diagnosis

Young couple walking through meadow hand in hand. Close up shot with focus on hands of man and woman.

Breast cancer treatment is an experience that extends far beyond the physical realm, deeply affecting psychological well-being and sexual health. The emotional toll of a mastectomy, the profound changes wrought by chemotherapy, and the onset of medically induced menopause are challenges that demand resilience, informed understanding, and a strong support network.

In recognition of World Cancer Day and its theme to #CloseTheCareGap, we convened this special Ask the Expert webinar session led by Dr. Jennifer Reese, a renowned sexual health specialist from Fox Chase Cancer Center. This webinar was crafted to delve into the sexual health challenges faced by individuals during and after breast cancer treatment, aiming to equip you with empowering strategies for navigating these complex issues.

Dr. Jennifer Barsky Reese brings a wealth of knowledge as an associate professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. With a PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University, her work as a behavioral scientist and licensed psychologist focuses on enhancing intimacy, interpersonal functioning, and overall quality of life for those affected by cancer. Through her extensive research and clinical practice, Dr. Reese offers a beacon of hope and guidance for many navigating the delicate balance of health and intimacy post-diagnosis.

Whether you’re seeking to understand more about the physical or emotional impacts of breast cancer treatment on sexual health, or looking for ways to enhance intimacy and connection, this webinar offers valuable perspectives and compassionate advice from one of the field’s leading experts.

Tune into the full-length webinar to hear answers to these questions and more.

Q: What are some common biological or physical sexual problems faced by breast cancer survivors?

Q: What is the sexual response cycle, and how is it affected by breast cancer treatments?

Q: What are some strategies to address vaginal symptoms and sexual desire issues?

Q: What is the difference between vaginal moisturizers and lubricants?

Q: What is a vaginal dilator and why might a breast cancer patient need to use one?

Q: How do body image and self-perception change after breast cancer treatment?

Q: How can breast cancer survivors enhance intimacy and address body image concerns?

Q: Are there unique concerns for LGBTQ breast cancer survivors regarding sexual health?

Q: Why might breast cancer survivors hesitate to seek help for sexual problems?


This Ask the Expert webinar was designed to shed light on the complex issues breast cancer survivors face when navigating the intricacies of sexual health and intimacy. We understand that these topics are not just about physical healing but are deeply intertwined with emotional recovery and personal identity. 

Remember, you are not alone on this path. We encourage you to continue exploring these aspects of your health with compassion and patience, remembering that every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory in your steps toward recovery and self-discovery.  Please stay connected with the Outcomes4Me community for more resources, support, and shared experiences.

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